business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that "the growing demand for disclosure about chemicals, hormones and food formulation is changing how finance chiefs in the food industry direct investment in new technology, product development and sourcing of ingredients."

Essentially, the story says that companies are having to spend money on changing how they handle ingredients as well as how they handle the record-keeping function, so they can satisfy "the consumer-led push for transparency about food formulation."

However, at the same time, the story notes that there is "a need to balance higher production costs against the willingness of consumers to pay for certain agricultural practices or ingredients."
KC's View:
It may not be realistic, but my sense is that consumers don't want to hear from retailers and suppliers that transparency is going to cost them more money. They believe that transparency ought to be a core value, and that it is something that food companies should have been doing all along ... and that to try to charge people more is akin to airlines charging customers for baggage, pillows, and blankets. They may get away with it, but that's because of lack of choice ... something that does not exist in the food world.