AI company Spoon Guru is out with a new study saying that “72% of consumers do not understand the recommended levels of salt, fat and sugar consumption,” and that “just 28% of shoppers think they can confidently decipher the value of nutrients in food.”

What this means, Spoon Guru suggests, is that retailers have an opportunity “to offer new tools to give better transparency.”

Some other data from the study:

• “54% of US shoppers want retailers to do more to encourage healthy eating.”

“A quarter of Americans believe retailers should offer tools in order to identify the right foods to improve health and dietary requirements.”

Forty percent of Americans say they are afraid of developing a serious illness and 19% fear an early death due to an unhealthy diet. As a result, 74% of those surveyed stated they have tried to improve their health and wellbeing over the past year - however the new study suggests they are failing with a staggering 88% revealing their diet is still unhealthy.”

“68% of respondents revealed they eat five or more processed meals a week, despite half of Americans (50%) claiming they have been eating less processed food over the past year. The conflicting results suggest shoppers may be attempting to eat healthier but are unaware processed foods include cereals, pasta, cheese, etc.”

“To encourage healthy eating,” the study says, “US consumers want “lower costs on healthy options (67%) … more promotions of healthy products (44%) … healthy snacks by the checkout (35%) … better placement of healthy foods in-store (32%) (and) suggestions on healthy food swaps (26%).

KC's View: The degree to which we consumers are willing to deceive ourselves probably cannot be overstated, but I completely agree with the notion that retailers should see these numbers as a rationale to provide better and more relevant information to their shoppers. It is all about creating and sustaining a compelling narrative that draws people in and keeps them there, forging connections that are difficult to disrupt. (Not impossible to disrupt, though … which is why this is an ongoing process that requires constant feeding.)