Editor’s Note: Survey Days are Here Again!

It’s survey season here at IFIC and the IFIC Foundation, and we’ve been working feverishly to bring you the latest consumer insights on a variety of food safety, nutrition, health, technology, and other related topics to equip you as you look to connect with your clients, patients, and others on a deeper level. Over the years, IFIC and IFIC Foundation consumer research has represented some of the most detailed and thoughtful research on consumer awareness, perceptions, and behaviors on these issues, and this year is no exception.

As you’ll see in this issue of Food Insight, our 2014 Food & Health Survey “took the pulse” of Americans’ diets this year to go beyond awareness and perceptions to understand what drives people’s food and health behaviors. As food and nutrition communicators, these are arguably the most important insights we can have for informing how we communicate about food and health, as they identify those attitudes and perceptions that are ultimately leading people to make their diet and health choices. If we know these drivers, then we can provide people with important science-based information and context to clarify misperceptions and address their diet and health questions at their core to enable more informed conclusions.

As health is increasingly defined in terms that go beyond basic nutrition and ingredient information, IFIC also has new findings coming soon from its 2014 “Consumer Perceptions of Food Technology Survey,” which examines Americans’ views and understanding of topics such as food biotechnology, modern agriculture, and sustainability in food production. The results may surprise you, as they show (as they have for several years) that there is still strong favorability toward the use food biotechnology on a number of fronts, despite some negative discussions taking place. However, as we know, context is important to creating greater public understanding, and often, discussions of the potential benefits of food technology for food safety, nutrition, and sustainability are left out of the dialogue. Look for these findings to be published in the July 2014 issue of Food Insight.
In addition, as Millennials (ages 18-34) are becoming increasingly influential, it is interesting to see how their perceptions and behaviors differ from Gen X and Gen Y, as well as Boomers. Both Surveys provide fascinating insights on this unique group.

We hope you tuned in to the IFIC Foundation Food & Health Survey health professional webcast on May 20th, but if you missed it, you can still view the recording on our website (Note: Continuing education credit was only available for participation in the live webcast) and access other Survey materials. Stay tuned for more information about the 2014 “Consumer Perceptions of Food Technology” Survey webcast, coming in late June!
Tweet your favorite findings from this year’s Surveys throughout the month of June to @FoodInsight using the hashtag #surveyfaves.

P.S. You may have noticed a change in the timing of the delivery of Food Insight to your inbox. We are now publishing the newsletter in the first week of every month in order to provide more proactive information about news and events taking place in the coming month. We hope you like this change!