Quality mark explosion confuses customers, damages confidence

food quality labelThere are so many quality and safety labels for food and other products that consumers are losing their trust in them, according to new research by the consumers and markets authority ACM.

Consumers are often confused about what the labels stand for and consider some to be little more than a marketing ploy, the ACM said on Thursday.

‘Organisations and companies which hand out these quality labels would do well to end the current explosion,’ ACM board member Anita Vegter said in a statement. In addition, rules are needed to set up and manage standards, she said.


The report shows that while 74% of consumers think quality labels should be trustworthy, 47% think there are too many, 40% think they are an excuse to put up prices and 36% that they are a marketing ploy.

The ACM identified 12 different food trade labels, ranging from fair trade to low fat, plus dozens of others covering the financial services industry, holidays, electrical goods and housing. There are several different labelling systems for eggs alone.

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