Field to Fork 2012: New Study by Edelman Shows Consumers Feel America’s Approach to Food Production Is on the Wrong Track

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As U.S. consumers are more closely linking what they eat to their personal well-being, it appears the food industry has a big gap to fill when it comes to helping consumers fulfill those needs. …

As U.S. consumers are more closely linking what they eat to their personal well-being, it appears the food industry has a big gap to fill when it comes to helping consumers fulfill those needs. According to the latest Field to Fork* study conducted by StrategyOne for Edelman, more than half of U.S. grocery shoppers cite processed foods (additives/ preservatives, saturated fats) and chemicals in foods (hormones/pesticides) as the leading factors that have put our country’s food production process on the wrong track.

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  • 1. AN ANNUAL STUDY OFFood Attitudes + Perceptions 1 © Edelman, 2012. All rights reserved.
  • 2. Fifty-Five percent of consumers believe America’s food production is on the wrong track, citing Food content; processing, chemicals, sugar, HFCS, fat, salt, etc. 42% Safety and production; mass production, lack of local production, contamination, GMOs, etc. 22% Economy, jobs, and food costs 19% Personal time management; emphasis on fast food and laziness 16% Obesity and self-control 9% Regulations and government 8% Corporations and profits 5%All in all, do you think that America’s overall approach to food production puts us on the right track to living healthier lifestyles, or do you feel that things are off on the wrong track?What is the most troubling aspect of America’s overall approach to food production that causes you to believe we are on the wrong track to living healthier lifestyles? 2
  • 3. Consumers Willing to Tie Broader Global Issues to Consumption Say they are willing to change their own consumption habits if it can help make tomorrow’s world a better place to livePlease tell me whether each of the followingstatements describes you, yourself.
  • 4. Consumers are More Food and Health Aware CONSUMERS HAVE PREFERENCES AND A DESIRE FOR KNOWLEDGE THAT WASN’T EVIDENT IN DECADES PAST 81% prefer 81% 69% want to know 65% want to say health and U.S.-grown nutrition where their know how foods information on food comes their food front of food from was packages processed influences purchase decisionPlease tell me whether each of the following statements describes you, yourself.How often do you read or gather information about food and nutrition?How often do you share information or opinions with others about food and nutrition issues you read or hear about?Which, if any, of the following best describes how you typically engage with food and nutrition issues? 4
  • 5. What Consumers Want From the Food Industry 83% 82% say it’s important say it’s important 75% 68% 67% that food and that companies beverage offer “healthy companies provide say it’s important choices that fit my for food and healthy foods that budget” believe healthy beverage say it’s important taste great foods are too companies to for food and change products expensive beverage to make them companies to help healthier solve community nutrition problems such as obesity and hungerHow much do you agree or disagree with the statements below?How important is it to you for a food and beverage company to have each of the following initiatives? 5
  • 6. How Consumers Feel Industry is Delivering on Expectations 100% Provide easy-to-use Change products nutrition in ways that information on the make them front of food healthier packages 80% Provide easily accessible nutrition information PERFORMANCE 60% Provide healthy foods that also taste great Provide food aid to countries in Implement systems 40% need to track food and rapidly respond to food safety concerns Use fewer ingredients in their products Offer healthy food choices 20% Stop producing that fit my products that are Work to help solve budget Provide access to not considered community nutrition fresh foods in areas healthy problems, such as that currently lack childhood obesity access and hunger 0% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% EXPECTATIONSHow important is it to you for a food and beverage company to have each of the following initiatives? How effective would you say U.S. food and beverage companies in general are at implementingthe following initiatives? 6
  • 7. Six Distinct Consumer Segments Revealed FRIENDS OF BADGE RIGHT PASSIVEFOOD ELITES THE FARM WEARERS CHOICERS EATERS KID-FLUENCED16% 17% 14% 20% 15% 18%An informed Generally older A well-educated, This middle-aged, A young Thrives on theirconsumer, (45+), Midwestern high-income middle income (under 35), ability to provideconcerned with white male and a consumer group consumer uses lower-income food for theirevery step along staunch supporter who are simple rules as a consumer who family, they letthe path from of American outspoken and guide to more just doesn’t have their childrenField to Fork farming informed about healthful eating the interest to influence their global issues take the time to food purchasing create a meal decisions 7