Consumer confusion regarding genetically modified foods and use of antibiotics in agriculture is widespread, despite scientific research on both topics, says the Center for Food Integrity, a non-profit that recently released results of its 2,000-person survey on food topics.
"Cracking the Code on Food Issues: Insights from Moms, Millennials and Foodies" research provides a roadmap for participants in today's food system to make food information relevant and meaningful to the current consumer, CFI says.
"This research provides guidance to the food system for overcoming the many communication barriers that keep consumers from integrating science-based information into their decisions," said Charlie Arnot, CFI CEO. "The food system can use CFI's new models developed through this research as a guide to connect with consumers, especially moms, millennials and foodies, but it will require communicators to embrace a new approach."
Consumers are interested
A key takeaway from the research is how important food issues are to moms, millennials and foodies. They help define who they are as people and shape their cultural identities, CFI says.
The 2014 CFI web-based survey was completed by 2,005 respondents who reflect the general U.S. consumer population. To provide deeper insights into moms, millennials and foodies, those groups driving consumer thought on key food issues, the results were segmented into the three groups.
Additionally, using scenarios on the topics of genetically modified ingredients in food and antibiotic use in animal agriculture, the survey tested three voices: a Mom Scientist, a Federal Government Scientist and a Peer "who shares my interest about food."
After reading information about the two topics by each of the three voices, trust in the Mom Scientist and Government Scientist remained strong while the Peer lost trust.
CFI says the test indicates that once shared values have been established, having technical expertise and a credential build credibility when communicating technical information.
Further, the research also revealed respondents' trusted sources for food system information. Websites rank highest for moms, millennials and foodies. The second choice for moms is local television stations, while millennials and foodies prefer friends (not online). Food-specific TV programs and networks are important sources for foodies.
To read more about the research, visit the Center for Food Integrity Website