Certified, Verified, and Beyond…
The nutrition world is full of terminology and statements that may not be clear to your customers. Some of this confusion is understandable – it’s OK if they are not sure where polysorbate 80 comes from or what potassium benzoate does. But there are some terms that are important to understand. What exactly does it mean when they see “certified” on your packaging? Is that better than “verified”? And how can they tell the difference? When it comes to food allergies, your customers need to know that they are eating exactly what they intend to, and that means no ambiguity on your menus or packaging. Lifestyle diets can be just as important. So below is a quick guide to help clear up some important points in the menu or package labeling.
- “Officially recognized as possessing certain qualifications or meeting certain standards”.
- An authoritative entity ensures a product or entity is what it says it is.
- Requires impartial third-party audit.
- Testing must be conducted.
- Ongoing surveillance of compliance must occur.
- Guarantees consistency of a given quality between products.
- Most prestigious assessment held in the highest regard.
- Instills most confidence in customers.
- The product or entity has been vetted, but…
- Assessing agency or standard not specified.
- Product could be verified by producing entity – reducing impartiality.
- Difficult to know if quality is comparable to other products or other verifications.
- Looks good but not as trustworthy as certified.
Checked, Promised, Endorsed…
- No formally established process or standards.
- These statements leave a lot of questions unanswered.
- What is the “checking” procedure?
- Who promised and under what circumstances?
- What are the qualifications of the endorsing entity?
- Is anything contractual that would hold up in court?
- Little esteem associated with statements.
- “World’s Best Pizza!”
- Subjective, cannot be validated or tested.
- Marketing tool.
- Relatively harmless unless health-linked
- “100% steroid-free chicken”.
- Objective, could be tested.
- Same issue as “verified” – who is making the claim and under what authority?
Whether you are producing gluten-free cookies or your kitchen is a vegan facility, you want your customers to know for certain that they are safe and eating the way they want to.
The best thing you can do is get certified by an accredited certifying body. That way there is no question; you have done your part to ensure the health and safety of your customers. Contact MenuTrinfo today to find out how you can get certified!