US food consumers prioritise price and nutrition

Tuesday, 20 October, 2015

Americans care most about the cost and nutrition of their food, prioritising these factors over concerns about GMOs, organics and antibiotic-free food, according to a recent survey.

The 2015 Science and Food Survey by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs also found that when seeking food information, Americans trust health professionals, friends, family and farmers more than media or food companies.

Key findings of the survey include:

Americans value affordability, nutrition most

  • 78% of Americans are very or somewhat interested in how the food they buy is produced.
  • A majority deem it very important that the food they buy is affordable and nutritious (59% and 57%, respectively). Additionally, minorities of Americans named other food attributes very important, including: not genetically modified (32%), antibiotic-free (31%), locally grown (20%), organically grown (1%), from a family farm (16%) or from a nationally known brand (11%).

Americans want food producers to focus on food safety, nutrition

  • When asked what they think food producers should take into account a great deal, 74% of Americans said food safety. Only 20% of Americans believe food producers already take food safety into account a great deal.
  • More than half of Americans also think producers should take nutrition (66%), affordability (57%), sustainability (53%) and transparency (51%) into account a great deal.

Americans trust peers and professionals, not media

  • Americans’ most trusted sources of food information are health professionals (25% very trustworthy), friends and family (23%), farmers (23%), scientists (20%) and the FDA (19%).
  • Fewer Americans rated documentaries (11%), grocery stores (5%), food packaging (4%) and food companies (4%) as very trustworthy.
  • Americans have the least trust in media for food information. Only 2% believe blogs and social media are very trustworthy, and just 3% feel the same way about traditional print, broadcast and online media.
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