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The State of Consumer Trust in the Food & Beverage Industry: Winning the Swing Vote

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The Obesity epidemic. Pink Slime. Fat taxes. Soda taxes. Animal Welfare. Food Safety. With issues like these grabbing headlines and driving conversation you might think trust in the food and beverage industry would be low. You’d be wrong. In fact, the food and beverage industry enjoys a relatively high level of global trust according the 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer. But there’s more to the story when you look at the numbers. Almost three-quarters (72%) of those surveyed say they neither trust nor distrust the food and beverage industry. That’s a large segment of swing voters whose “vote” of trust could be swayed one way or the other. That means food and beverage companies today have a great opportunity to engage consumers with their brand stories, but are also at risk if they take a mis-step.

The State of Consumer Trust in the Food & Beverage Industry: Winning the Swing Vote

  1. 1. Consumer Trust in the Food Industry:Trends and OpportunitiesMARY K. YOUNG, MS, RD June 28, 2012 © Edelman, 2012. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Trust is Higher for Food & Beverage Industry GENERAL PUBLIC 63% 100% 90% Trust in the Food & Beverage Industry 80% 70% 60% Food & 50% Beverage Industry Trust 40% 47% Business Trust 30% 20% Trust in Business 10% 0%Q11 -14. [Business in General TRACKING] Below is a list of institutions. For each one, please indicate how much you trust that institution to do what is right using a 9-point scale where one means that you do not trustthem at all and nine means that you trust them a great deal. (Top 4 Box – Trust), General Population, Global 25-Country Total; Q16-26. [Food & Beverage TRACKING] Please indicate how much you trust businesses ineach of the following industries to do what is right. Again, please use the same 9-point scale where one means that you do not trust them at all and nine means that you trust them a great deal. (Top 4 Box, Trust),General Population, 25-Country Global Total 2
  3. 3. Food & Beverage is Second Most Trusted Industry GENERALGlobally PUBLIC Technology 76% Food and Beverage 63% Automotive 62% Telecommunications 58%Consumer Packaged Goods 57% Pharmaceuticals 57% Energy 53% Brewing and Spirits 50% Banks 49% Media 48% Financial Services 43%Q16-26. [TRACKING] Please indicate how much you trust businesses in each of the following industries to do what is right. Again, please use the same 9-point scale where one means that you do not trust them at alland nine means that you trust them a great deal. (Top 4 Box, Trust), General Population, 25-Country Global Total 3
  4. 4. Food & Beverage Follows Trends of, but Remains INFORMEDLower than, Automotive & Tech Industries PUBLIC 25-64 100% 90% 80% 80% 79% 79% 76% 70% Food & Beverage Industry Automotive Industry 67% Technology Industry 66% 63% 58% 64% 64% 60% 61% 56% 50% 2009 2010 2011 2012Q16-26. [Food & Beverage TRACKING] Please indicate how much you trust businesses in each of the following industries to do what is right. Again, please use the same 9-point scale where one means that you “do nottrust them at all” and nine means that you “trust them a great deal”. (Top 4 Box, Trust), Informed Publics ages 25-64, 20-Country Global Total (excludes Argentina, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, UAE) 4
  5. 5. Over the Past Year Food & Beverage Lost Trust in Six INFORMEDMarkets, and Gained Trust in Five PUBLIC 25-64 Trust Trust Steady Trust 89% 89% 89% 84% 83% 81% 79% 78% 78% 77% 80% 77% 74% 75% 76% 75% 72% 74% 73% 72% 70% 70% 69% 68% 67% 67% 65% 66% 67% 64% 64% 64% 64% 62% 63% 62% 59% 60% 56% 54% 56% 52%50% 50% 49% 48% 43% 45% 45% 37% 38% N/A N/A 2011 2012Q16-26. [Food & Beverage TRACKING] Please indicate how much you trust businesses in each of the following industries to do what is right. Again, please use the same 9-point scale where one means that you “do nottrust them at all” and nine means that you “trust them a great deal”. (Top 4 Box – Trust), Tracking Informed Public 25-64, 25 Individual Country, 20-Country Global Total (excludes Argentina, Hong Kong, Malaysia,Singapore, UAE) 5
  6. 6. A Large Majority of the Global Population Falls in the GENERALSwing Category PUBLIC Distrusters 1,234, 5% Trusters 5,621, 22% Trusters 5,621 Swing 17,900 Distrusters 1,234 Swing 17,900, 72% 6
  7. 7. Trusters Seek Traditional & Distrusters Go Online GENERAL PUBLIC Food & Beverage Industry Trusters Food & Beverage Industry Distrusters 86% 82% 74% 59% 54% 56% 43% 35% TRADITIONAL ONLINE MULTIPLE SOCIAL MEDIA CORPORATE SOURCES Q149-160. [TRACKING] Below is a list of places where you might get information about a company. For each, please indicate if you trust it a great deal, somewhat, not too much, or not at all as a source of information about a company. (Trust, Top 3-4), General Population, 25 country global total; [Trusters=Top 2 Box (8-9), Swing =5, Distrusters=Bottom 2 Box (1-2) on a 1-9 scale], General Population, 25-Country Global Total 7
  8. 8. Who Are Most Credible Spokespeople? GENERAL PUBLIC - 36 Gap - 32 Gap - 30 Gap - 25 Gap 76% 58% 62% 46% Industry 42% 22% 30% Trusters most trusted 17% #4 #6 #1 #2 #8 #5 #7 spokesperson #8 CEO Financial or Industry Technical Expert in Government Official Analyst the Company or Regulator Food & Beverage Industry TRUSTERS Food & Beverage Industry DISTRUSTERS 76% - 30 Gap - 20 Gap - 20 Gap 68% - 17 Gap 55% 58% 51% 46% Industry 35% 38% Industry Trusters most Distrusters #3 #1 #1 trusted #7 #5 #4 most trusted #2 spokesperson #5 spokesperson Academic or Expert NGO Representative Regular Employee Person Like Yourself Q119-126. Below is a list of people. In general, when forming an opinion of a company, if you heard information about a company from each person, how credible would the information be--extremely credible, very credible, somewhat credible, or not credible at all? Total Credible (3-4), [Trusters=Top 2 Box (8-9), Swing =5, Distrusters=Bottom 2 Box (1-2) on a 1-9 scale], General Population, 25-Country Global Total 8
  9. 9. What’s the View of Government Regulation? GENERAL PUBLIC 58% 44% 28% 20% 20% 11% Too Much Right Amount Not Enough Food & Beverage Industry Trusters Food & Beverage Industry Distrusters Q130. When it comes to government regulation of business, do you think that your government regulates business too much, not enough or the right amount? [Trusters=Top 2 Box, Swing =5, Distrusters=Bottom 2 Box (1-2) on a 1-9 scale], General Population, 25-Country Global Total 9
  10. 10. Maintain Current Trust and Build Future Trust SOCIETAL OPERATIONAL Most important attributes that Attributes that correlate with current build future trust trust SOCIETAL ATTRIBUTES 1) High quality products or services 63% Trust Food & Beverage MORE IMPORTANT TO 2) Listens to customer needs and feedback BUILDING FUTURE 1) Innovator of new products TRUST 3) Treats employees well 2) Ranks on a global list 3) Places customers ahead of profits 2) Delivers consistent financial returns 5) Has ethical business practices 4) Highly regarded, top leadership 6) Takes actions to address issue or crisis 7) Has transparent and open business 5) Treat employees well 8) Works to protect/improve environment 9) Communicates frequently and honestly CURRENT TRUST 10) Addresses society’s needs DRIVEN BY OPERATIONAL 11) Innovator of new products ATTRIBUTES 11) Positively impacts the local community 13) Ranks on a global list 13) Highly regarded, top leadership 15) Partners with third parties 16) Delivers consistent financial returnsQ16-26. [Food & Beverage TRACKING] Please indicate how much you trust businesses in each of the following industries to do what is right. Again, please use the same 9-point scale whereone means that you “do not trust them at all” and nine means that you “trust them a great deal”. (Top 4 Box, Trust) General Population in 25 country global total; Q70-85./Q86-101. Pleasethink about businesses Food & Beverage industry. How important is each of the following actions to building your TRUST in businesses in the Food & Beverage industry? Please use a nine-point scale where one means that action is “not at all important to building your trust” and nine means it is “extremely important to building your trust” in a company. (Top 2 Box, Very/Extremely Important) General Population in 25 country global total * ‘Current Trust’ results based on regression analysis of general population in 25 country global total 10

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