Do consumers want to eat healthier foods? The aspirational answer may still be yes with most people, but survey results from 2007 and 2012 suggest that the desire may not be as popular as it was five years ago, even if organic and natural foods have gained some traction.
Two response sets, a Fall 2007 and a Summer 2012 Experian Simmons National Consumer Survey used by Packaged Facts, show slightly different answers among consumers who responded to statements on a five-point scale regarding their food health attitudes. Here's what the surveys found:
ON TRYING TO EAT HEALTHIER FOODS
A lower percentage of respondents replied favorably to the statement, "I try to eat healthier foods these days" in 2012 than in 2007. In fact, the sentiment dropped by more than 2% from 64.1% to 61.8%, the largest shift among the survey's responses.
ON WORKING TOWARD EATING A WELL-BALANCED DIET
The percentage of affirmative responses to "I am working at eating a well-balanced diet" also fell, with 55.4% of survey-takers agreeing with the statement in 2007 and only 53.5% agreeing in 2012.
ON PRIORITIZING NUTRITIONAL VALUE
Asked if they agreed that nutritional value is the most factor in choosing what to eat, the answers in both years looked fairly similar, though the results did show a 0.3% drop. Both years showed affirmative responses among less than half of those answering, however, with 46.6% agreeing in 2007 and 46.3% agreeing in 2012.
ON AVOIDING ARTIFICIAL ADDITIVES
Artificial additives weren't a major turn-off for more than half of the survey's responders in 2007. Only 46.4% agreed with the statement, "I prefer to eat foods without artificial additives." That percentage dropped to 45.5% when the question showed up again in 2012.
SHOPPING FOR ORGANIC AND NATURAL FOODS
While interest appeared to drop in the those previous four response sets, organic and natural food interest saw modest gains. Given the statement, "When shopping for food, I especially look for organic/natural foods," 24.8% agreed in 2007, and 26.3% agreed in 2012. Granted, that's still a smaller percentage of agreement than any of the other statements received in either year. It is, nevertheless, the one statement out of these five that saw gains.
Note: Responses are aggregated from a five-point scale; figures shown are for “any agree” (“somewhat agree”/“strongly agree”).
Source: Packaged Facts, based on Fall 2007 & Summer 2012 Experian Simmons National Consumer Surveys; used with permission.
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