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New Study by Edelman Shows Consumers Feel America’s Approach to Food Production Is on the Wrong Track

New Study by Edelman Shows Consumers Feel America’s Approach to Food Production Is on the Wrong Track

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Published by Edelman
As U.S. consumers are more closely linking what they eat to their personal well-being, it appears the food industry has a big gap to fill when it comes to helping consumers fulfill those needs. According to the latest Field to Fork* study conducted by StrategyOne for Edelman, more than half of U.S. grocery shoppers cite processed foods (additives/ preservatives, saturated fats) and chemicals in foods (hormones/pesticides) as the leading factors that have put our country’s food production process on the wrong track.
As U.S. consumers are more closely linking what they eat to their personal well-being, it appears the food industry has a big gap to fill when it comes to helping consumers fulfill those needs. According to the latest Field to Fork* study conducted by StrategyOne for Edelman, more than half of U.S. grocery shoppers cite processed foods (additives/ preservatives, saturated fats) and chemicals in foods (hormones/pesticides) as the leading factors that have put our country’s food production process on the wrong track.

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Published by: Edelman on Mar 15, 2012
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250 Hudson Street New York New York 10013 Tel +1 212 768 0550 Fax +1 212 704 0117 www.edelman.com
 
CONTACT:Michael Bush212.729.2181michael.bush@edelman.com 
New Study by Edelman Shows Consumers Feel America’s Approach
to Food Production Is on the Wrong Track
 
Data Suggests Consumers Don’t Think Food Industry Is Doing Enough to Help Them
Lead a Healthier Lifestyle 
 
March 15, 2012, Washington, DC
 –
As U.S. consumers are more closely linking what they eat totheir personal well-being, it appears the food industry has a big gap to fill when it comes to helpingconsumers fulfill those needs. According to the latest Field to Fork* study conducted byStrategyOne for Edelman, more than half of U.S. grocery shoppers cite processed foods (additives/ preservatives, saturated fats) and chemicals in foods (hormones/pesticides) as the leading factors
that have put our country’s food production p
rocess on the wrong track.In the survey, consumers say they hold food and beverage companies accountable for providingsome of the solutions, but overall feel companies fall short of expectations.
Role of a food and beverage company % say it isimportant forindustry to do% say the industry isbeing effective
Provide healthy foods that taste great83% 50%
Provide healthy food choices that fit my budget82% 41%
Provide easily accessible nutrition78% 59%
Change products to make them healthier75% 44%
Provide access to fresh foods in areas thatcurrently lack access72% 35%
Help solve community nutrition problems suchas childhood obesity and hunger67% 34%
Use fewer ingredients55% 27%Furthermore, 50 percent of those surveyed say their food choices reflect their personal values.Nearly all say they prefer to purchase foods that are grown or raised in the US, and more than halfsay they avoid processed foods as often as possible.
“The data tells us consumers are redefining their relation
ship with food, looking at health more
closely and holistically, and expecting food and beverage companies to do the same,”
said JanetCabot, d
irector of Edelman’s U
.S.
Food and Nutrition practice. “So while the industry has made
strides in reformulation and wellness initiatives over the years, it is clear to us that the stakes are
even higher…that companies are going to have to clearly and effectively demonstrate who they are,what they stand for, and how they are going to get America back on track.”
 
 
2
 
In addition, the Field to Fork data shows consumers also expect the U.S. government to play a rolein creating a healthier food environment by regulating things such as food safety and promotingphysical activity. However, the survey indicates people have much less appetite for control overpolicies that restrict or penalize their personal choices such as taxing certain foods or beverages.
Survey Reveals Six Distinct Consumer Segments
While technology and access to information have helped people become m
ore “food aware”
- not all
consumers are seeking the same values and benefits from their foods. This year’s study surveyed a
larger population so that segmentation could be conducted to identify differences in consumerattitudes and purchase drivers, which can lead to a deeper understanding of consumer motivations.The segments identified are:
Food Elites:
informed consumer, concerned with every step along the path from Field to Fork.
Friends of the Farm:
Midwestern, typically older male (45+) consumer who supports andchampions the role and need for American agriculture.
Opinion Sharers:
Well-educated, high-income consumer who is outspoken and informed aboutglobal issues.
Rule Followers:
Middle-aged, middle-income consumer who uses simple rules as a guide to morehealthful eating.
Passive Eaters:
Younger (under 35), lower-
income consumer who simply doesn’t have the interest
to take time to create a meal.
Kid Influenced:
This consumer thrives on the ability to provide food for the family and is more proneto letting children influence purchasing decisions.According to Jason McGrath, vice p
resident of StrategyOne, “The results of the segmentation tell us
what we already assumed, but now have data to rely on, that not all consumers are created equally.Some are wholeheartedly in support of farmers, while some are most influenced by their families,
and others just want a convenient meal when they’re hungry. This information can help guide
corporate initiatives as well as policy discussions to ensure the consumer point-of-view is
considered.”
 For more information on Edelman and Strategy O
ne’s Field to Fork survey visit
 
###
About Edelman
 
Edelman is the world’s largest public relations firm, with
63 offices and more than 4,200 employeesworldwide, as well as affiliates in more than 30 cities
. Edelman was named Advertising Age’s top
-
ranked PR firm of the decade in 2009 and one of its “A
-
List Agencies” in both 2010 and 2011; Adweek’s “2011 PR Agency of the Year;” PRWeek’s “2011 Large PR Agency of the Year;” and
The
Holmes Report’s “2011 Global Agency of the Year.” Edelman was named one of the “BestPlaces to Work” by Advertising Age in 2010 and among Glassdoor’s top five “2011 Best Places toWork.” Edelman owns specialty firms Blue (advertising), StrategyOne (research), Ruth
(brands +experiences), DJE Science (medical education/publishing and science communications), MATTER

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