Why Product Certifications are Essential for Connecting with Shoppers

November 4, 2020
by SPINS Marketing

The Importance of Product Certifications?

We’re living in an era of better-for-you products where consumers are choosing products that benefit their physical and mental health and the health of the planet. Year over year we’ve seen these products perform better than ever. Shoppers read labels to verify a product has the ingredients they want or the nutritional benefits they’re after, but what they’re looking for isn’t always that easy to spot. Or at least it didn’t use to be. 

Product certifications have grown in popularity as ways for shoppers to recognize products that align with their dietary and sustainability priorities, whether that means organic produce or milk that comes from an animal-friendly farm. Successful brands and retailers are making sure their customers can easily find the product certifications they’re looking for when they’re browsing the shopping aisles.

To help you make that essential connection for shoppers, let’s take a look at what you need to know about product certifications.  

What Are Product Certifications?

Product certifications establish a clearly defined set of standards that a product must meet and are assured through lab testing, independent assessments, or reviews. Although the FDA and other governmental agencies do not regulate sustainability or dietary product certifications, standard-bearers in each category do oversee certifications to ensure compliance. Product certifications reflect shopper demand with regard to product elements that cannot always be easily measured via ingredient statements or nutrition fact panels.  

Product Certifications to Watch

There amount of certifications continues to grow, and SPINS wants to make sure you have all the information you need to keep up and strategize accordingly. Here are 4 certifications you’ll want to keep an eye on: 

The Detox Project: This certification aims to increase transparency around toxic chemicals, specifically glyphosate, the most widely used pesticide in the world. Over a 52-week period, sales for products certified by The Detox Project grew 58%, notably among refrigerated plant-based milk, shelf-stable oils and vinegar, and refrigerated juices and functional beverages. 

Marine Stewardship CouncilWith overfishing harming fish populations (as too many fish are caught and therefore not enough adults are left to breed) and Illegal and destructive fishing methods occurring, shoppers look for this certification to ensure their fish is sustainable. Sales of these certified products grew 19% over a 52-week period, with frozen, refrigerated, and shelf-stable poultry and seafood among the top gainers. 

Certified Plant-Based: This Plant-Based Foods Association certification primarily focuses on alternatives to meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy and promotes the collective growth, awareness, and values of plant-based food brands. These products grew 46% in sales over a 52-week period. 

Certified Grain-Free: This certification helps shoppers who are avoiding grains in general or following a diet such as the Paleo diet and has experienced a sales growth of 6% over the last 52 weeks. 

How to Leverage Product Certifications

Successful retailers and brands alike realized how important certifications have become a growing segment of shoppers and have begun to factor them into their strategies and processes. Shoppers recognize certifiers’ logos, creating an opportunity for you to grab their attention and gain their trustThe certifications we mention above are just a sample of what’s already on the market, with more on the way.  

Product Intelligence for Brands

When you incorporate certifications into your data analytics, you can understand shopper motivation, track and identify consumer trends, learn how certifications affect your category and item performance, add certifications to your brand positioning, and find white space for your next innovations.

Product Intelligence for Retailers

When you make certifications part of your data analytics, you help shoppers find the products they’re looking for and have come to trust, improve eCommerce filtering, enhance store shelf tags, and identify assortment opportunities.

SPINS Product Intelligence provides shopper-centric attributes for brands and retailers to millions of products on the market every time a SKU is scanned. SPINS Product Intelligence creates new data that allows you to identify shopper motivations, target new opportunities, discover threats, and communicate with consumers in an effective way. Our expanding certifications are fully traceable, validated, and provided by the actual certifier. In addition to the 4 growing certifications we mentioned above, our PI includes certifications across a wide range of attributes that shoppers care about.

When you partner with SPINS and begin using our certifications attributes, you can trust the integrity of your data and maximize its capabilities. This attribute data provides an important shopper sightline that benefits all parties involved: brands, retailers, and the certifier themselvesPerhaps most importantly, these attributes also ensure products are up to date and meeting current certifier standards so you know you’re offering customers the products they’ve come to expect and trust from you