Consumers Concerned About Food Safety

September 27, 2009 07:00 PM

Rachel Duff, Farm Journal Contributing Editor

A recent IBM study shows a low trust in food sources and high concern about food safety. The study, which consisted of a survey of 1,000 consumers in the 10 largest U.S. cities, shows that less than 20% of consumers trust food companies to sell safe and healthy products. It also shows that 60% of consumers are concerned about food safety, and 63% are knowledgeable about the content of the food they buy.
The food recalls that have happened in the last couple of years have had a lasting impression on consumer attitudes. Of the respondents, 83% could name a food product that was recalled in the last two years, according to an IBM press release. One of the products that was named was peanut butter, which was named by 46%. Spinach was the second most recognized recall, which had 15% recollection among the respondents.
Following a recall, the study shows that consumers are cautious when purchasing the recalled food products. Some say, 49% to be exact, they would be less likely to ever purchase the product again if was recalled because of contamination, while 8% said they would never purchase the food again even if the contamination was addressed, according to the survey. Many respondents, 63%, said they would not buy the food until the source of the recall was found and addressed.
The survey also found that more consumers have started to want information about food products more often. In fact, 77% of consumers want more information about the content of the food products they purchase, while 76% want to know more about the food's origin. Furthermore, 74% of consumers are looking deeper for answers about how the products are grown, processed and manufactured.
With the increasing attention to the details of food consumers are eating, it has become obvious that there is still a gap between consumer expectations and what producers are providing. Consumers are looking for that extra information, and they are becoming more and more concerned with food safety in the U.S.

For More: Press release: Less Than 20% of Consumers Trust Food They Buy Is Safe and Healthy, IBM Survey Reveals and IBM

You can e-mail Rachel Duff at

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