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Hunter Public Relations 15th Annual Food News Study Summary Report

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The 15th Annual Food News Study, commissioned by Hunter Public Relations, examined the top food news stories according to the opinions of Americans. This year’s iteration also set out to quantify the impact of these stories at every step of the consumer continuum by measuring the influence on consumers’ awareness (are the stories remembered?), consideration (do they change opinions?), intent (do they change behavior?) and advocacy (are they shared with others?).

Please visit us at www.hunterpr.com/our-pov/foodstudy.html to learn more.

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Hunter Public Relations 15th Annual Food News Study Summary Report

  1. 1. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 1©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting
  2. 2. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Background, Objectives & Methodology Top Food Stories of the Year Where Americans Get their Food Information Demographics 3 5 25 31
  3. 3. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 3 BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES Hunter PR has annually informed the public of the top food stories of the year. Now in its fifteenth year, this Annual Food Study highlights the top food news of the past year according to the opinions of Americans, and identifies if behavior changes ensued. Providing an understanding of how important food stories are to Americans Measuring any change in interest in food stories overall Seeing what types of news stories are most important to consumers Examining the impact of social media on food stories Determining what media sources are used for gaining information on food news This year’s report continues the tradition of identifying the top food stories of the year, as well as: This year’s food study also focuses more heavily on the IMPACT of these stories by measuring influence along the continuum of engagement: Awareness Is it remembered? Consideration Does it change opinions? Intent Does it change behavior? Advocacy Is it shared with others?
  4. 4. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 4 METHODOLOGY A quantitative online survey was conducted among a sample of N=1,000 American adults. The survey was sent to a sample balanced to the US Census on age, race and region by sample provider ResearchNow, with quotas set for even representation by gender. The study was 15 minutes in length, and in field from October 24th—28th, 2017. • Top stories of 2017; • Behavior changes due to 2017 news stories; • Intentions or behaviors related to sharing these stories on social media; • Importance of food news; • Changes in attitudes related to these stories; • Sources for recipe information, nutrition information and sources of general food news; We have reviewed this data by key demographic group, as well as the age cohorts of Millennials, Gen Xers, Baby Boomers/Matures. Questions covered in the study included:
  5. 5. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 5
  6. 6. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 6 More than one-quarter of Americans this year feel that food & nutrition stories are very important, comparable to year-ago figures. However, only 35% say that food & nutrition stories are more important than other types of news. This marks the lowest level over the past five years in their relative importance across the media landscape. Q.8 In general how important are food and nutrition stories to you? Q.9 And during 2016 how important were food and nutrition stories compared to other stories in the news? N=1,000 IMPORTANCE OF FOOD STORIES
  7. 7. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 7 Age groups report similar levels of importance for food news. However, Baby Boomers/Matures are less likely to say these food stories are important relative to other types of stories in the news. All age groups are reporting declines in the relative importance of food stories within this year’s media climate. Q.8 In general how important are food and nutrition stories to you? Q.9 And during 2016 how important were food and nutrition stories compared to other stories in the news? N=1,000 IMPORTANCE OF FOOD STORIES
  8. 8. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 8 TOP 2017 FOOD STORIES The top food stories of 2017 in terms of awareness are Amazon Buys Whole Foods Market, Another Food Safety Scare at Chipotle, and Nearly 2.5 Million Pounds of Tyson Chicken Products Recalled. Q.3 Out of the items listed below, please tell us which Food Stories you remember seeing, hearing or reading about this past year. N=1,000
  9. 9. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 9 TOP 2017 FOOD STORIES Top two stories are similar across age cohorts, with millennials choosing Unicorn Food over the Tyson recall for its #3 spot. Q.3 Out of the items listed below, please tell us which Food Stories you remember seeing, hearing or reading about this past year. N=1,000
  10. 10. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 10 TOP 2017 FOOD STORIES The top 2 stories are the same for Hispanics vs. non-Hispanics. However, Hispanics’ #3 top story is the proposed tariff on Mexican imports to fund the wall. Top stories are the same by gender. Q.3 Out of the items listed below, please tell us which Food Stories you remember seeing, hearing or reading about this past year. N=1,000
  11. 11. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 11 IMPORTANT FOOD TOPICS Q.9a How important are the following food topics to you? Please rank these in order of importance from most important to least important. N=1,000 A,B,C significant difference at 95% confidence level Topics of Food Safety and Food Nutrition/Health & Wellness are most important to Americans. By comparison, other topics are considerably less important. Millennials are less likely to see Food Safety as important, as compared to older generations, and give higher importance to Food Trends, Food Brand Marketing, and Food Industry News.
  12. 12. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 12 TOP 2017 FOOD STORIES BY TOPIC Food Safety, acknowledged as an important topic, also results in two of three of the top news stories overall. However, we also see the less “important” topic of Food Industry News bringing us the #1 top story of the year. Q.3 Out of the items listed below, please tell us which Food Stories you remember seeing, hearing or reading about this past year. N=1,000
  13. 13. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 13 CONSIDERATION: IMPACT ON OPINIONS Stories that have a broader impact on the population’s opinion–either positive or negative–correlate to the breakthrough power of these stories (measured by awareness)—regardless of their topic. Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods Market had the highest number of Americans noting a positive opinion (followed by Restaurant Chains Now Deliver), while food safety and politically-based stories had the highest level of negative opinions. Q.4 To what degree did each of these food stories change your attitude or opinion? N=1,000
  14. 14. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 14 CONSIDERATION: IMPACT ON OPINIONS This year’s top stories offer higher levels of changed opinions across generations. However, Millennials, who are more often moved to change as a result of these stories, report higher levels of changed opinions across many stories. Q.4 To what degree did each of these food stories change your attitude or opinion? N=1,000
  15. 15. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 15 INTENT: BEHAVIOR CHANGES BY STORY (Base =All) We see fewer Americans reacting with behavior changes to this year’s food stories than in the past. However, our top stories of the year are also those most likely to drive behavior change. Most notable changes based on stories are from Food Scares at Chipotle and Tyson Recall, which focus on fears related to food safety. Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods Market also produced a leading behavior change this year. Q.5 When it comes to food which of the following stories, if any, changed how you shop, eat or dine out? N=1,000
  16. 16. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 16 INTENT: BEHAVIOR CHANGES BY STORY As we have seen in prior years, aside from food safety recalls, Millennials appear more open to making a wide range of changes as a result of food stories as compared to those older. However, all age groups report fewer behavior changes this year as a result of these top stories. Q.5 When it comes to food which of the following stories, if any, changed how you shop, eat or dine out? N=1,000 A,B,C significant difference at 95% confidence level.
  17. 17. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 17 INTENT: BEHAVIOR CHANGES BY STORY (BASE=THOSE AWARE) The top 3 stories marking behavior changes (among those aware of the story) are How Much Protein is Necessary?, Rise in Korean Flavors and Tyson Chicken Products Recall, whereby four in ten of those aware of these stories claim to have made behavior changes because of them. Q.5 When it comes to food which of the following stories, if any, changed how you shop, eat or dine out? N=1,000 A,B,C significant difference at 95% confidence level.
  18. 18. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 18 INTENT: SPECIFIC BEHAVIOR CHANGES The most noted specific food behavior change occurring this year by Americans is paying more attention to food labels, where almost 1/3 of Americans admit to this change. Secondary specific behavior changes include educating oneself on food, paying attention to food’s impact on health and paying attention to food safety. Q.6 In response to what’s been in the news this past year, in what ways, if at all, have your eating or shopping habits or how you eat out changed? Check all that apply. N=1,000
  19. 19. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 19 INTENT: SPECIFIC BEHAVIOR CHANGES Q.6 In response to what’s been in the news this past year, in what ways, if at all, have your eating or shopping habits or how you eat out changed? Check all that apply. N=1,000 While all age groups are most likely to be paying more attention to food labels, Millennials are more likely than those older to be trying new foods/flavors, or changing how they are preparing food. Versus oldest Americans, Millennials are also more likely to be changing their diet or how they shop, paying more attention to the impact on the environment, or other food information sources.
  20. 20. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 20 ADVOCACY: SHARE-ABILITY OF STORY Q.7 To what degree have you or would you share this story with others? N=1,000 American’s claim that the top food stories of the year are also the most share-able, as Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods Market, food safety scares and politically-based food stories are claimed to have had more “traction” in social media.
  21. 21. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 21 ADVOCACY: SHARE-ABILITY OF TOP STORIES Q.7 To what degree have you or would you share this story with others? Red bar denotes significant difference at 95% confidence level Among these top most shareable stories, we see that older consumers are more likely than Gen Xers to be open to sharing the Amazon story, and older consumers are more likely to share the tales of recalls. Hispanics are more likely to share the story about the Proposed Tariff on Mexican Imports. There are no gender differences on the share-ability of top stories.
  22. 22. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 22 This year’s top stories appear to have more “water cooler” share potential, meaning that Americans are more open to talking about these stories with friends, family or coworkers. Those stories where the articles themselves are more shareable often offer a teachable concept, such as How much protein is necessary? or Warriors against food waste. Personal sharing of comments is just that—personal—and is often linked to personal interest or experience. ADVOCACY: WAYS SHARED Q.7a And how might you share these stories? Base=claim to have shared or would share story *small sample size
  23. 23. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 23 ADVOCACY: WAYS SHARED Q.7a And how might you share these stories? Base=claim to have shared or would share story Ways to share these top shareable stories are mostly similar by key demo group, however, younger consumers are more likely to share personal photos/comments about these stories.
  24. 24. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 24 CONTINUATION OF STORY IMPORTANCE INTO 2018 Q.10 How important do you think each of these food stories will continue to be in the next year? N=1,000 This year’s top stories are also the ones seen as having the most “legs” to continue into 2018. Politically-based food stories—School lunch guidelines and the proposed tariff to fund the wall—are also seen as being more newsworthy into 2018.
  25. 25. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 25
  26. 26. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 26 SOURCES FOR FOOD INFORMATION - RECIPES Q.11 Now please think for a moment about where in the media you hear or learn about recipes, nutrition, or general food news. A,B,C,D significant difference at 95% confidence level Versus last year, we see fewer people turning to websites, books/cookbooks or blogs for recipes. This marks a continued decline in the use of traditional and digital media for recipe attainment, as social media continues to fill that space. Millennials lead this trend.
  27. 27. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 27 SOURCES FOR FOOD INFORMATION - NUTRITION A continued trend of new media over traditional continues for food nutrition information. Millennials lead the way toward online/social sources, as older cohorts more often retain traditional information behaviors. Q.11 Now please think for a moment about where in the media you hear or learn about recipes, nutrition, or general food news. A,B,C,D significant difference at 95% confidence level
  28. 28. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 28 SOURCES FOR FOOD INFORMATION – GENERAL FOOD NEWS Continued shifting is seen in how Americans access general food news. Americans continue to turn less to traditional media (such as TV, direct mail, books, magazines or newspapers) for food information, as online forms continue to be used. Younger cohorts drive this trend. Q.11 Now please think for a moment about where in the media you hear or learn about recipes, nutrition, or general food news. A,B,C,D significant difference at 95% confidence level
  29. 29. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 29 SOURCES FOR FOOD INFORMATION Hispanics more often turn to “new media” sources for food information, such as social media, YouTube and blogs, as compared to non-Hispanics. Q.11 Now please think for a moment about where in the media you hear or learn about recipes, nutrition, or general food news. Red bar denotes significant difference at 95% confidence level
  30. 30. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 30 SOURCES FOR FOOD INFORMATION In comparing men and women, we see many more recipe sources that are turned to by women, yet fewer differences in media sources for Nutrition or General Food News. Overall, women are greater users of social media for food information. Q.11 Now please think for a moment about where in the media you hear or learn about recipes, nutrition, or general food news. Red bar denotes significant difference at 95% confidence level
  31. 31. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 31
  32. 32. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 32 DEMOGRAPHICS
  33. 33. ©2017 Hunter Public Relations in Partnership with Libran Research & Consulting 33 3 Mast Road Scarborough, ME 04074 www.libranresearch.com (207) 219-8350 Contact: Jane Mount jane.mount@libranresearch.com 41 Madison, Fl 5 New York, NY 10010 www.hunterpr.com (212) 679-6600 Contact: Samara Farber Mormar smormar@hunterpr.com

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