Survey Shows Lack of Food Safety Confidence

US - A new IBM study reveals that less than 20 per cent of consumers trust food companies to develop and sell food products that are safe and healthy for themselves and their families.
calendar icon 25 June 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

The study also shows that 60 per cent of consumers are concerned about the safety of food they purchase, and 63 per cent are knowledgeable about the content of the food they buy.

The survey of 1,000 consumers in the 10 largest cities nationwide shows that consumers are increasingly wary of the safety of food purchased at grocery stores, and their confidence in -- and trust of -- food retailers, manufacturers and grocers is declining. The Debilitating Impact of Recalls

83 per cent of respondents were able to name a food product that was recalled in the past two years due to contamination or other safety concerns. Nearly half of survey respondents -- 46 per cent -- named peanut butter, the staple of school lunches for children across the nation, as the most recognizable recall. Spinach came in a distant second, with 15 per cent awareness nearly two years after the incident.

Consumers are proving to be extra cautious in purchasing food products after a recall. 49 per cent of the respondents would be less likely to purchase a food product again if it was recalled due to contamination. 63 per cent of respondents confirmed they would not buy the food until the source of contamination had been found and addressed. Meanwhile, eight per cent of respondents said they would never purchase the food again, even after the source of contamination was found and addressed.

These findings underscore how the rise in recalls and contamination has significantly eroded consumer confidence in food and product safety, as well as with the companies that manufacture and distribute these products. Changing Consumer Behaviors

63 per cent of respondents report they have purposefully changed their grocery shopping behavior in the past two years because they wanted better value for their money. And almost half have changed shopping behavior to access fresher foods (45 per cent) or better quality foods (43 per cent).

"Especially in today's economy, if consumers are going to pay a little extra for a branded or organic product, they want to be assured that they're paying for something different and better quality," said Guy Blissett, Consumer Products Leader, IBM Institute for Business Value. "Across the board, consumers are demanding transparency and more information about the food they purchase to ensure their safety and that of their families. As the government, industry associations, retailers and manufacturers work through the operational issues associated with ensuring food safety, we can each become more aware and take greater responsibility for the food we purchase."

TheCattleSite News Desk

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.