packaged goods

P&G Giving Fuller Ingredient Info For 3,500 Products

The company that in 1895 began famously claiming that its Ivory Soap was “99 and 44/100% Pure” says it has begun disclosing ingredients and other information on most of its  3,500 products via an industry Website run by Grocery Manufacturers of  Association. 

The list covers P&G products like Febreze, Tide and Pantene, sold in this country and Canada. P&G has been adding products to SmartLabel for 18 months. 

The move isn’t coming out of the blue for the consumer packaged goods giant. In the last several years, like other big brand companies, P&G has upped its demonstration of transparency and embarked on campaigns to produce more environmentally safe products packaged in recyclable containers. 



In its Ambition 2030 plan for the future issued last month, P&G literature said, “People care more and more about what goes into making the products they use to care for their families every day. We understand there is a growing segment of consumers who have changing preferences on ingredients they either wish to avoid or are seeking more information to make product choices.” 

In that report, P&G promised to publish a progress report on consumer transparency by the end of this year.

“Using SmartLabel to share our products’ ingredients reinforces P&G’s commitment to transparency, and is one way we are holding ourselves accountable to the transparency goals we outlined in Ambition 2030,” said Kathy Fish, P&G’s chief technology officer, in a statement.

A 2012 study by BBMG, GlobeScan and SustainAbility noted that nearly 90% of consumers say “ingredient transparency” is important to them but that same report said only 54% regularly check labels while shopping.

Indeed, checking labels on P&G products that are part of the new SmartLabel group of products wouldn’t reveal much. The more complete information is listedonly on the searchable SmartLabel Website and app, which claims to have ingredient information about 30,000 other products made by other companies. 

“For most of our products, it is nearly impossible to fit a full listing of ingredients on the package in a way that is legible without compromising other important information like how to use the product or the many other details which we are required to include on packages,” a P&G spokesperson tells Marketing Daily

One missing piece of information are the ingredients in fragrances used in a wide variety of P&G products. And in recent years, those ingredients have increasingly been in the public eye because some of them can be irritating. 

Last year, SC Johnson, with a long history of consumer openness, listed 368 skin allergens that can be activated by its fragrances. P&G followed suit, and said it would reveal fragrance ingredients down to 0.01% by the end of 2019. 

Regarding fragrance ingredient disclosure, we’re starting with the products for which there is the most consumer interest and demand for this information, and we’ll expand as fast as we can,” the spokesperson says. “It’s essential that we do this the right way, not just the quickest way. P&G is committed to making all of this information available online, linked to all 65 brands and thousands of products, by the end of 2019. But even as we seek to meet our 2019 goal, we will always answer questions people have about specific products and ingredients.”

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