The Importance of Easy to Read Price Card Allergy Displays
The number of people with food allergies around the world increases each year. The reasons for this trend are not fully understood, but many experts have suggested that increased hygiene in modern societies and processed foods are likely culprits.
Most allergic reactions to food are only mild and can be treated with over-the-counter antihistamines, but some can be life-threatening and require emergency medical treatment. Therefore, displaying important allergy information on food products is an important responsibility for manufacturers and supermarkets today.
While many products already display allergen information on their packaging, there are some cases where information is unclear or confusing. As such, we explore the most effective ways to display food allergy information using easy to read price cards and POPs to help your customers make informed purchasing decisions — reducing risk for people with allergies and allowing you to build greater trust with your customers.
What is Food Allergy Information?
The 8 Most Common Food Allergy Ingredients
A food allergy is a condition in which certain food ingredients trigger an abnormal immune response. A number of different ingredients can elicit this reaction, but only eight account for the majority of food allergy reactions worldwide. These are:
- Tree nuts
All these items should be subject to allergy labelling, even if food products only contain trace amounts. In fact, the FDA and other food safety authorities around the world require that food labels must clearly identify the food source names of any ingredients that are one of the major food allergens, or contain proteins derived from these allergens.
In addition to accurate product descriptions, it has also become good practice to use price card allergy displays and POPs that emphasise the existence of these ingredients in products, to further ensure that all consumers are fully aware when they’re shopping.
Additional Food Allergens
As well as the eight most common food allergens, there are a number of ingredients known to cause allergic responses in individuals. These include celery, sesame, lupin, and mustard among others. If you think you may be allergic to any particular ingredient, check with your doctor to confirm.
While it isn’t compulsory to create displays and price cards that highlight these allergens, doing so will help people with a food allergy or intolerance to make safe choices, especially when buying pre-packed food sold at supermarkets.
Note: Advice on major food allergens can vary from country to country, e.g. Japan recognises 21 raw ingredients as potential causes of food allergens.
Create Clear and Easy to Read Price Card Allergy Displays
Clear and Transparent Allergen Labels and Price Cards
At the same time as displaying important allergy information, you’ll need your price cards to include appropriate product information and promotional messages as well, to draw in shoppers and convey the value of your products. This can be tricky when you end up with too much information and not much room to convey it.
When there are too many words on a price card, it can increase the amount of cognitive burden on the shopper when they’re browsing. At best, this will diminish the potential of your price cards to inform the shopper of important product benefits. At worst, people will simply turn away because they don’t want to go through the trouble of reading such a complicated display.
You will need to strike a balance between being informative and detailed with being easy-to-read and enticing. To do this, use strategic price card designs and information layouts to balance allergy information with product descriptions in your supermarket or food store.
Give Allergy Information the Prominence it Deserves with Appropriate Font Sizes
It’s not enough to put allergy information on your price cards in tiny font sizes. While this lets you put more focus on your product benefits, it makes it harder for customers with allergies and intolerances to read the information they need. A better approach is to use this as an opportunity to build trust and respect with your customers by giving allergen information more prominence.
If you are able to provide customers with honest, transparent and helpful advice to facilitate their shopping experiences, they’re much more likely to trust your brand and turn into lifelong customers. Even customers without allergies will respect this effort. Also, older people or those with bad eyesight will especially appreciate you making important allergy information obvious, so that they can read the information without having to strain themselves.
Why Make Allergy Price Cards and POPs Easy to Read?
Use Allergy Symbols to Quickly Inform Customers of Important Information
A number of standard allergy marks can be used to provide shoppers with an easy visual signal that certain food or drink items contain potentially dangerous allergens. These visual symbols will quickly inform someone that a product might contain something they’re allergic too.
As humans process images 60,000 times faster than text and 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, it is a core strategy used in product labeling to use specific allergy symbols instead of just text descriptions — giving shoppers with allergies or intolerances a quick way to check whether items are safe for them to consume.
This method also lets you save room on your price card designs due to the small size of allergy symbols, letting you use precious real estate to focus on product benefits or style. After all, too much information on one card or POP can overwhelm or deter a shopper. Take a look at standard allergy symbols in our price tag information guide to create your own allergy-friendly supermarket price cards.
Use Charts to Clearly Organise Allergy Information
In addition to using allergy symbols, you can create an organised chart to display the allergy information for certain products. Instead of listing each item one by one in no particular order, combining everything into one clear and easy to understand structure will improve visibility and reduce the time shoppers need to spend when reviewing your products.
Ultimately, people like to get their shopping tasks completed as quickly as possible and helping them get the information they want faster will improve their customer journey experiences. If your allergen information is hidden or confusing, they could easily get frustrated. Meanwhile, clear and prominent price card information in your shop will help streamline the buying process, reduce the chances of complaints and make it more likely for customers to trust and respect your brand.
Whether it’s allergen information or product benefits, remember that you should always approach your shop’s visual branding from the customer's point of view. Create your price card designs and POPs with your customers’ concerns and motivations in mind and you’ll have a good chance of building some genuine trust and rapport — turning one-time shoppers into lifetime fans.