In 2015, The Center for Food Integrity (CFI) shared the results of ongoing research showing U.S. consumers want more and more information about their food and primarily expect food companies to provide it. Those U.S. consumers surveyed also look to farmers for information about food.
CFI’s research shows being more transparent about food commodities and products builds consumer trust as well as a greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the U.S. food system.
USW is sharing this information because in a broader sense, U.S. research can give the world’s commercial flour millers and wheat food manufacturers information about how consumer attitudes may evolve in their countries.
CFI took its 2016 research to a new level with an innovative methodology called digital ethnography. Charlie Arnot, CFI’s chief executive officer, said in a release that the new research offers much deeper insights into distinct groups whose actions about where they buy food, or how they form opinions about products, processes, people and brands, influence the decisions of others.
This emerging influence is why more U.S. consumers are flocking toward the things about today’s food that they believe is more sophisticated and represents “progressive” production, CFI noted. Arnot said this is seen in increased demand for food that is less processed, with simple labels that describe what is in, and what is not in, the products. USW see a relevant example for the world’s millers and bakers in the sponge and dough bread production method, using only flour, yeast and water, compared to “no-time” bread production that requires more additives and conditioners. Innovations in plant breeding may also be a resource for consumer questions.
“Understanding consumer attitudes toward food and how those attitudes influence the conversation allows food companies to more effectively talk with consumers,” said Leigh Horner, vice president, communications at The Hershey Company. “Consumers want to feel good about the products they buy for themselves and their families and want easy access to balanced, useful information to know they are making the right choices. These insights will help food companies build trust … and engage in meaningful conversations about the food their customers buy.”
The Center for Food Integrity is a not-for-profit organization that helps today’s food system earn consumer trust. Our members and project partners, who represent the diversity of the food system, are committed to providing accurate information and working together to address important issues in food and agriculture. The Center does not lobby or advocate for individual companies or brands. For more information, visit www.foodintegrity.org.