- About 15% of U.S. adults said they would be more likely to buy Nestle products because of the company's recent announcement to voluntarily reduce salt in products throughout its portfolio, according to a survey conducted by CivicScience.
- However, among primary shoppers, that number jumps to nearly one-quarter, and among moms, one-fifth.
- Also, nearly one-quarter (23%) of respondents said they would be more likely to trust Nestle following the announcement.
No product change or company announcement is going to impact consumers the same, even if that change is aimed at improving public health. About 4% of consumers said they were less likely to buy Nestle products and about 5% said they were more likely to distrust Nestle because of the announcement.
Variances in flavors and textures in products could push once loyal customers to other brands. Also, consumers could question the viability of these changes.
Kraft Heinz took another strategy when it removed artificial colors and flavors from Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. The company initially announced the removal but didn't make a follow-up announcement that the changes had been made until months after releasing the reformulated products to stores. With this strategy, Kraft Heinz aimed to prove to skeptical consumers that it could change the ingredients without noticeably changing features of the products loyal customers want.
General Mills, on the other hand, has kept consumers posted about developments in its commitment to remove artificial colors and flavors from its cereals. The company made an announcement about its progress earlier this year that it had reformulated 75% of its cereals.
A recent study showed that consumers do want to feel companies are listening to them and value their input, and consumers trust company's decisions more — whether consumers support the decision itself — if the company involves consumers in the decision-making process. Manufacturers can involve consumers in decisions about salt reduction.
If the FDA does release sodium reduction targets, they will be voluntary. Manufacturers may not be legally required to reduce salt, but if they don't, they could face backlash from health-conscious consumers for not meeting those voluntary targets.