Can the Food & Drinks Industry be Trusted?

Last edited 14 June, 2022
Industry Insights
1 min read.

The recent horse meat scandal has shaken the food industry throughout, be it supermarkets, restaurants or small retailers, so what now? 

The food and drink sectors are one the most trusted coming third after technology brands and the automotive industry – 2013 Edelman’s Trust Barometer

A recent survey of 2,000 consumers, conducted by Canadean Custom Solutions, highlights that nearly 40% of shoppers are now less trusting of supermarkets. The recent bad publicity surrounding horsemeat being found in produce across the UK has sparked the question – Do food retailer giants have a tight control of their supply chains?

Furthermore, a report issued last month called for a ban on advertising junk food before the watershed and for a 20% tax on fizzy drinks has placed even greater negativity on the industry. Professor of public health at the University of Liverpool states that “the industry spends over £1bn a year in UK advertising.”

Brand Reputation Rankings – sourced from Marketing Week: An Industry Under Siege 14th March 2013

These recent developments have been dealt additional blows triggering an investigation by Oxfam into the owners of big brands, which aim to measure several criteria evaluating companies and their control of supply chains and operations.

Oxfam Director of Campaigns, Phil Bloomer, suggests that publishing these results will influence the UK public to voice their concerns via social media and put real pressure to ‘fix-up’ and sort out these issues for the long-term trust of the industry.

Andy Clarke, Chief Executive for Asda, said that [the horsemeat scandal] “may have happened in the supply chain, but for our customers it is not their problem, it is ours, and we have to fix that”.

Accountability and responsibility are key considerations here. Who do you think is to blame and what should all retailers learn from this PR disaster?

Also, as consumers become more sophisticated in their purchasing methods, with an infinite pool of research available online combined with the ability to communicate quicker than ever via social media, a key question arises –

Is it more important than ever to maintain a transparent operation and clear brand communication?


EDGE team member



EDGE routinely feature guest blogs written by key industry professionals covering a wide variety of topics. Their insight is crucial to our development as a marketing agency and helps us learn about and adapt to new industries, ideals, and business practices. The partnership we have with our guest authors helps us both grow side-by-side and brings a fresh perspective on topics both old and new.