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Price Approaches Taste as Top Influencer for Americans When Purchasing Foods & Beverages
Yet, in a Down Economy, Health is Still Important to Two-Thirds of Americans
(WASHINGTON, DC) — Increasingly for Americans the cost of food is becoming almost as important as the taste of it, according to the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation 2011 Food & Health Survey.
Although taste remains the top consideration (87 percent), 79 percent of consumers say price impacts their decision when deciding which foods and beverages to purchase, a six percent increase from 2010 and a noteworthy 15 percent increase since 2006. While healthfulness (66 percent), convenience (58 percent) and sustainability (52 percent) play roles in consumer decision making, no other motivator rose at the same rate as price over the past five years. Interestingly, these trends are consistent with what drives Americans’ menu decisions at restaurants: taste (69 percent) and price (61 percent) are ranked as the top two motivators. Americans also say that lower prices are the top driver that would lead them to make more healthful choices when shopping for food.
“The economy seems to be having a significant effect on what people look for when buying food,” according to Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, Senior Vice President of Food Safety and Nutrition at the IFIC Foundation. “While Americans will almost always choose foods that taste good first, they’re certainly looking for affordable, healthful foods as well.”
The IFIC Foundation 2011 Food and Health Survey also found that significantly fewer Americans are concerned about their weight status when compared to last year; 50 percent of Americans describe themselves as overweight in 2011 compared to 57 percent in 2010. More Americans perceive their diet as extremely or somewhat healthful (62 percent) when compared to 2010 (53 percent). At the same time, fewer Americans report making dietary changes (59 percent in 2011 compared to 64 percent in 2010) and more Americans report that their physical activity levels are sedentary (43 percent) – a significant increase from 2010 (37 percent). These contradictions are further evidenced by the fact that the number of people trying to lose or maintain weight (69 percent) has significantly decreased since 2010 (77 percent).
“This contradiction may indicate that Americans are being less hard on themselves and less critical of their health and well-being than in past years, despite an environment in which improved health and wellness is increasingly discussed from the media to government to the dinner table,” according to Carrie Dooher, Director of Trends and Consumer Insights at the IFIC Foundation. “This would be consistent with current trends toward small indulgences and a shift in perception about food in which consumers are seeking to be empowered rather than educated about food, health and food safety practices.”
The IFIC Foundation 2011 Food & Health Survey captured the thoughts, perceptions, and behaviors of 1,000 American adults over a two and a half-week period in March and April of 2011.
Additional Key Findings from the International Food Information Council Foundation 2011 Food & Health Survey include:
The IFIC Foundation 2011 Food & Health Survey also covers additional topics such as consumer attitudes and behaviors on protein and other food components, use of the Nutrition Facts Panel and other labeling elements, low-calorie sweeteners, caffeine, fortified foods and foods with added benefits, food colors, and food technology.
For a copy of the IFIC Foundation 2011 Food & Health Survey Executive Summary and other resources for journalists and bloggers please visit the IFIC Foundation Media Resources Page. A PDF of the data and full data tables are available upon request by contacting the IFIC Foundation media team at 202-296-6540 or email@example.com.