SmartLabel® Implementation Recommendations


A Modern Path to Enabling Consumer Transparency and Trust

Consumer demand for information about products they use and consume has reached an all-time high—whether trying to address a health issue, a social issue, or simply to be in control of what they put into their bodies. Today’s consumers want to be more informed. According to the U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2017 report, clear labeling, food safety standards, and product guarantees are top reasons shoppers tend to choose a particular store. Information today is accessible at the touch of a finger and the blink of an eye. All the consumer has to do now is decide whether the information is reliable, or not. For food retailers, transparency invokes and idea of trust in a culture of consumer skepticism. 

SmartLabel® : A Path to Transparency and Consumer Trust

The idea for SmartLabel® started as the Consumer Information Transparency Initiative (CITI) and was sponsored in 2014 by the Trading Partner Alliance (TPA), a collaborative industry body of stakeholders represented by the Board of Directors for FMI and Grocery Manufacturers Association. One FMI/GMA member, The Hershey Company, working to address transparency for their products, felt this would be better served as an industry-wide initiative and raised the idea for a vote, which passed, and began the SmartLabel initiative.

The SmartLabel kick-off meeting organized over 90 companies and 320 stakeholders into four key working groups including two focused on product attributes, one focused on food products, and the other on non-food and pet products. Groups were charged with building the consumer interface, and identifying technologically how best to operationalize and bring to market. Since then, additional working groups have formed to look at creating a bi-lingual English/Spanish function to the app and improving the consumer experience.

The audience for SmartLabel will reach beyond the original consumer audience. Government regulators, academia, and business partners will be able to conduct research about products used, and consumed, in addition to non-governmental organizations (NGO’s). Ultimately, SmartLabel helps food retailers and manufacturers meet the consumer demand for more food product information and is a mechanism for developing consumer trust in food products and brands.

SmartLabel Implementation Guidance

With any industry initiative of this size, resources and industry support are key factors for successful execution. A number of companies have positioned themselves to be strong partners in operationalizing SmartLabel. Depending on a brand owner’s needs, there are companies that can fully execute the program on your behalf with little more than a physical package and validation protocol. However, you may want the al a cart menu, especially if you have your product attribute information already organized in a Product Information Management (PIM) system. In this case your needs may be focused on QR code generation, landing page design, or the application program interface (API) that will deliver the information from point “A” to point “B.”

To organize competencies of each service provider and help brand owners target areas of need, the vendor taxonomy was created, bucketing solution providers by area(s) of competency.

Download the Vendor Taxonomy

View the consumer website for SmartLabel at

Use the links to the left to learn more about the SmartLabel implementation process.