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Study: Consumers Sill Want Transparency From Food Industry

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Nearly two out of three consumers (65 percent) want to know more about where their food comes from, according to a new followup white paper, “Emerging Faith in Food Production,” by Sullivan Higdon & Sink (SHS) FoodThink. The white paper explains how Americans continue to ask questions about where their food comes from and what processes are involved in food production.

“Food companies have the opportunity to build trust and loyalty among Americans while educating consumers on certain processes,” said Erika Chance, senior FoodThink researcher. “Transparency about animal welfare, sustainable practices and fair labor practices will help to soften consumers’ distrust of the food industry.”

In this white paper, American consumers have several mixed perceptions:

• Only 31 percent feel food companies are transparent about food production practices.

• Sixty-seven percent would like to see the food industry take more action in educating people on how food is produced. • Only 34 percent say the agriculture industry is transparent.

The white paper, built from a 2014 study, is a comparative analysis of consumers’ changed food production perceptions since SHS FoodThink’s white paper, “Building Trust in What We Eat,” based on a 2012 survey. The new data shows that the industry is moving in the right direction, according to Chance.

“The increase of information about food production has consumers wondering who to trust and what to believe,” she added. “It’s important, now more than ever, for food marketers to proactively pull back the curtain to educate and answer questions honestly to decrease consumer concern.”

The FoodThink white paper is built on proprietary research conducted in early 2014 and utilizes the responses from more than 2,000 U.S. consumers of diverse demographic backgrounds.

A free copy of the white paper can be downloaded here.

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