Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Savvy consumers put a high price on food safety

Date:
September 27, 2010
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
New research demonstrates how food safety announcements cause consumers as well as food industry professionals to make purchasing decisions.

In the last few weeks, news media have covered stories on an Angus beef recall, oil-tainted Gulf shrimp and salmonella-infected eggs.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that such headlines affect consumer spending. New research from Michigan State University demonstrates how these announcements indeed cause consumers as well as food industry professionals to make purchasing decisions.

Consumers are not only quite attuned to food safety issues, but they also have significantly changed their shopping habits because of them, according to Chris Peterson, director of MSU's Product Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Similar patterns also are evident among food industry professionals -- manufacturers, distributors, retailers -- a majority of whom have, in the past five years, changed their business practices to adapt to concerns about the safety of food products. "Food Safety Certification: A Study of Food Safety in the U.S. Supply Chain," was sponsored by Oslo-based Det Norske Veritas and conducted via online surveys of more than 400 consumers and nearly 75 food companies. DNV is a global provider of services for managing risk.

Nearly half of the consumers surveyed reported a change in shopping patterns due to food safety concerns. Also noteworthy is that the research subjects cited that higher price and brand name are not direct signs of safer food, Peterson said.

"Consumers are not only changing their buying habits, but they also want to see evidence on product labels indicating that their food has passed some kind of independent safety certification process," he said. "Moreover, slightly more than one-third of consumers are willing to pay a premium -- in upwards of 30 percent more -- for food with a safety certification label."

Food industry professionals also value third-party certification, but place a higher value on traceability. Food comes from a complex and interconnected food chain. If there is an outbreak, the immediate industry priority is to trace its origin, Peterson said.

"It's sort of the 9-1-1 mechanism of food safety," he said. "So we are not surprised that industry professionals place more emphasis on traceability, while consumers want to see the certification on product labels. In fact, they still see government inspection as the most credible signal of food safety, with certification and traceability coming in a close second and third."

In addition, the study found that:

  • Food suppliers and consumers believe that recycling, social justice, green practices, economic viability and animal welfare are important indicators of sustainability. But the most important attribute is safer and healthier food.
  • Consumers have particular concern about domestic meat products and, in general, all products coming from international sources.
  • A significant number of food suppliers are moving to implement certification audits primarily as a risk management tool. In general, food suppliers see a need for lower cost of implementation and a more consolidated/harmonized set of standards for third-party food safety certification.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Savvy consumers put a high price on food safety." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100921143928.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2010, September 27). Savvy consumers put a high price on food safety. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100921143928.htm
Michigan State University. "Savvy consumers put a high price on food safety." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100921143928.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) The Johnson family lost their battle with the Chesterfield County, Virginia Planning Commission to allow Tucker, their pet pig, to stay in their home, but refuse to let the board keep Tucker away. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins