• 13 FEB 18

    Who is Driving Packaged Food Conformity?

    Primarily, conformity of packaged food means compliance with food safety regulations and standards. For the consumer, conformity involves not misleading them into purchasing a product based on the information displayed. The deeper meaning of conformity centres on accurately presenting the product and package in accordance with brand expectations.

    For the purposes of this blog we are concentrating on the holistic definition of conformity: who is driving this and why?

    #1 Driving Seat: Regulators – Food Safety Compliance

    Overview: Compliance ensures packaged products repeatedly conform to several legislative requirements: no unwanted contaminants, safe-to-consume, correct labelling, accurate weight and not misleading the consumer in their purchase.

    The reasons:

    • Protects citizens from harmful or sub-standard products.
    • Creates an equal playing field to facilitate fair trade within their own countries and cross-border.
    • Enables easier identification of non-conforming, counterfeit, harmful or inferior products.

    #2 Driving Seat: Manufacturers/Brand Owners – Safeguarding Consumer Safety

    Overview: The detail behind ensuring that products are safe-to-consume is complex. Contaminant detection is just one key concern as manufacturers must also verify that all products leaving the production facility are fresh, high quality, within agreed weight tolerances, contain no risk of bacterial contamination plus display the correct nutritional, allergen, expiration information and instructions.

    The reasons:

    • Safeguards consumers against the potential risk of harm from contaminated or low-quality products or those that display incorrect information.
    • Avoids product recalls and subsequent costly repercussions from financial penalties to brand reputation damage.
    • Minimises wastage thereby protecting profits.
    • Honours supplier and retailer agreements to provide safe-to-consume, high quality packaged products.
    • Complies with food safety regulations to facilitate access to trade in other markets.

    #3 Driving Seat: Consumers – Meeting Satisfaction

    Overview: Consumers require packaged products which meet their brand expectations time-after-time. This means the product and package must be in perfect condition and as advertised. Dissatisfaction is initiated from content or packaging imperfections ranging from under- or overfill products to missing items.

    The reasons:

    • Repeated conformity of packaged food assists in building consumer trust and brand loyalty.
    • Brand confidence helps to secure repeat purchases.
    • Brand dissatisfaction results in customer complaints – direct and/or on social media channels.

    If you are interested in learning about the full definition of conformity and how to achieve this, please download ‘Ensuring Conformity of Packaged Food,’ written by Daniela Verhaeg, Mettler-Toledo Product Inspection.

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