Our International Trend Studies have been conducted on a biennial basis in the United States for 26 years and in 45 countries internationally since the Year 2000. The resulting database is the longest running of its kind, providing trended shopper insight data to food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, foodservice establishments, pharmaceutical companies and health organizations. Shopper nutrition and health insights are used to create and support strategy, position and improve brands and track trends.
In Search of Purity, Freshness, Organics & Food Safety
- Purity in growth and manufacturing is highly important. Seven of shoppers’ top 10 food concerns center around purity issues, including contamination, pesticides, growth hormones, irradiation, antibiotics, and GMOs. These concerns are reflected in labeling that they feel is important: “Natural” is as important as “fresh” to them, while at least two-thirds say a label should indicate a product was grown without pesticides and is GMO free. Natural and organic ingredients continue to be highly reported brand influences. More shoppers report increased use of natural and organic foods in the past two years and say that organic means they get no pesticides, no chemical residues, and no GMOs in these foods.
- Shoppers have strong opinions about GMOs. Most feel that non-GMO foods are safer, more healthful and better for the environment than GMO foods, though they feel that they taste similar. Respondents who are aware of GMOs may be becoming more skeptical: a higher share now feel that GM crops are not healthful, and the share saying all GM-containing foods should be labeled has increased to nearly 9 in 10. Meanwhile, fewer now attest that some genetic modification is necessary to ensure a global food supply.
- Artificial ingredients are becoming less desirable. Along with “natural” as their most crucial label designation, 2016 sees the highest share rating it highly important for labels to say a product has no artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, and artificial colors. In addition, nearly two-thirds say they usually avoid artificial ingredients, making this a far more likely habit than avoiding additives and preservatives. An increasing share feel that artificial flavors or artificial colors (along with preservatives) all contribute a lot to making a product seem more processed, and most believe that processed foods are not healthful. These opinions fuel their strong interest in “free-from” labels, foods with only recognizable ingredients, and labels with shorter ingredients lists.
1. Introduction and Methodology
2. Executive Summary
3. Detailed Information
- Top 10 Food Concerns
- Freshness & Natural Labeling
- Clean Labels
- Ingredient Recognition
- Simple Ingredient Lists
- Genetically Modified Foods
- Avoiding Additives & Artificial Ingredients
- Natural & Organic
- Responsible Food Choices
- Eco-Friendly Brand Choices
- Environmentally Friendly Purchasing
- Cost of Environmental Choice
- Point of Origin
- Locally Grown