Consumers' views of food production
We have found that consumers are growing more confident in their understanding of how food is produced. Research from IGD Consumer Unit
Consumer attitudes to food production are explored on a regular basis within IGD’s consumer insight programme.
In August 2000, one in two people thought they had a low level of understanding about the way food is grown and produced, this has now fallen to just under one in four people.
This measure is based on consumer’s own perception of their understanding. It is worth noting however, that focus group discussions often reveal a much lower level of understanding than this perhaps suggests. One reason for this disparity could be that consumers are growing increasingly aware of food production issues, bolstered further in 2001 by the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease.
This improved understanding has not been matched by a similar improvement in interest in food production. Only 11% of respondents said that they actively sought out information about this.
Abdicators: (38% of people) have little or no interest in finding out what happens to food before they eat it.
Spectators: (51% of people) intend to improve their current knowledge, but have not converted this into action. Whilst they may read information when handed to them, they are unlikely to seek it out.
Investigators: (11% of people) track down new sources of information and say they are trying to improve their current understanding of food production methods.
Food production issues do not feature prominently in the purchase decision with consumers reporting price, sell by date, taste, appearance and low fat or healthy eating attributes to be the five most important factors.
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