Purchasing Decisions: Is It About Science or Emotions?

May 8, 2018 01:27 PM

It seems as though you can’t purchase food without some sort of label on it: USDA Organic, Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Antibiotic-Free, and so on.

In agriculture, the overwhelming consensus is that these labels aren’t helping ag’s uphill battle with consumers and dangerous spreading of false information.

Soon, a new label will enter the mix: a smiley face inside a sun. The sun’s eyes are made of the lowercase letters “b" and "e,” standing for bioengineered food instead of the more commonly used phrase, “genetically modified.”

Some of these labels may lead consumers to perceive some foods might be healthier, have more nutritional value, or safer based on the labels it has, or doesn’t have.

According to Kay Johnson Smith, president and CEO of the Animal Agriculture Alliance (AAA) , consumers don’t buy products based on science.

“There’s a lot of emotion in food purchases but there’s also a reality of consumers have finite budgets,” she told U.S. Farm Report host Tyne Morgan in Washington D.C. “They’re trying to find things that match their values and their budgets.”

This proposed rule could become finalized this summer after a public comment period ends.

Hear what Johnson Smith said about findings about cage-free eggs and consumers in AAA’s survey on AgDay above.

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