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Transparency. It’s what consumers have come to expect from the brands they buy, especially when it involves their food. It’s why many brands have turned to transparency campaigns to communicate their commitment to consumers.

From the geographic origin of ingredients to how – and by whom – they are grown and harvested, consumers expect more from their loaf of bread than simply to serve as bookends for a sandwich. With the ease of accessing (and publishing) information online, conversations about these topics are happening, whether or not brands choose to partake in the discussion.

The following brands took the reigns and addressed the demand for transparency head-on by implementing transparency campaigns of their own.

McDonald’s Australia

Taking the initiative to proactively address customer questions, McDonald’s opened the door to dialogue with consumers about its menu items and ingredients, featuring an “Our Food. Your Questions.” page on the McDonald’s Australia site.

McDonald's Australia Transparency Campaign: Egg McMuffin Question

Through its transparency campaign (which also ran on its Canada website last year), McDonald’s offered customers the opportunity to ask anything related to the brand and get an honest answer. From questions about favorite menu items to those with a more pointed tone, consumers submitted questions, and McDonald’s replied.

While diving into a transparency campaign can feel like opening a can of worms, it’s also a great way to join conversations your audience is already having. McDonald’s took the opportunity to shed light on its ingredients, dispel myths, and involve itself in brand-related buzz – buzz that is going to occur with or without the brand’s involvement.


chipotle interior

Promoting itself as a champion of transparency, Chipotle once again set out to differentiate itself from other food brands with its video “The Scarecrow” and interactive game, in which users were acting as the title character set to foil the plans of the “evil Crow Foods.” With an emotional hook, Chipotle promoted awareness and prompted a conversation about food integrity, processing, and the food supply chain.

Nicole Hill drives visionary change for businesses and brands, from global enterprises to entrepreneurial startups.