Consumers want transparency from food industry

Nearly 2 out of 3 consumers (65%) want to know more about where their food comes from, according to a new follow-up white paper, "Emerging Faith in Food Production," by Sullivan Higdon & Sink (SHS) FoodThink. The white paper explains how Americans continue to ask questions about where their food comes from and what processes are involved in food production.

"Food companies have the opportunity to build trust and loyalty among Americans while educating consumers on certain processes," says Erika Chance, senior FoodThink researcher. "Transparency about animal welfare, sustainable practices and fair labor practices will help to soften consumers' distrust of the food industry."

In this white paper from SHS FoodThink, American consumers have several mixed perceptions:

• Only 31% feel food companies are transparent about food production practices. 
• Sixty-seven percent would like to see the food industry take more action in educating people on how food is produced. 
• Only 34% say the agriculture industry is transparent.

This unique white paper, built from a 2014 study, is a comparative analysis of consumers' changed food production perceptions since SHS FoodThink's white paper "Building Trust in What We Eat" based on a 2012 survey. The new data shows that the industry is moving in the right direction.

"The increase of information about food production has consumers wondering who to trust and what to believe," Chance says. "It's important, now more than ever, for food marketers to proactively pull back the curtain to educate and answer questions honestly to decrease consumer concern."

This FoodThink white paper is built on proprietary research conducted in early 2014 and utilizes the responses from more than 2,000 US consumers of diverse demographic backgrounds.

Download a free copy of the exclusive white paper with key implications and follow the blog at shsfoodthink.com.