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 September 19, 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 September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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