ARMONK, N.Y. — Product contaminations and recalls, coupled with confusion over marketing claims, have contributed to an erosion of consumer trust in consumer product manufacturers, according to an IBM survey. Nearly 70% of the 1,676 consumers in the U.S. and U.K. surveyed as part of the study expressed a low level of trust in the claims branded food products make about their environmental impact and health and wellness benefits. Almost half of consumers are more concerned about safety, and nearly two out of five said they buy different brands today because of these concerns. Almost 60% of respondents said they have more knowledge about the contents of the food they buy now vs. two years ago. Despite this increased awareness, 72% now want even more information about the source, the production methods and the contents of the packaged food products they buy. A related IBM study states that a new breed of shopper — the “Omni Consumer” — is driving the shift. These consumers are concerned, empowered and more connected than ever. “The Omni Consumer wants products that deliver incremental health and wellness benefits coupled with an understanding of the impact of these products on individuals, society and the environment,” Bill Gilmour, head of IBM’s Global Consumer Products, said in a statement.
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