The public relations and marketing firm, Ketchum, conducted a global survey of 1000 people in 5 countries: US, UK, Germany, Argentina, and China.
The study, called Food 2020: The Consumer as CEO, asked consumers what they want from their food ... trying to give food manufacturers a heads-up for what will sell in 10 years from now.
Here's a summary of their findings (pdf):
Food 2020: The Consumer as CEO, Executive Summary
Here are a few items that stood out for me:
- When making a food purchase, 4 of the 5 countries placed "health benefits" at the very bottom of a list of 4 factors related to food choice. The one that didn't was China. China placed "health benefits" at the very top. (The survey was taken in July-August 2008, before the melamine-in-milk crisis was made public in China.)
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Which of the 4 factors (taste, quality, price, health benefits) is your top consideration when choosing food?
(Mine is "health benefits" with "quality" a close second. Maybe that's because I'm in the health industry.)
- Here's the one that made me think of you, Ronald. Consumers were asked which of 9 factors would be their top priority if they were CEO of a global food company. Close to order of priority, they were:
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At the very bottom, coming in at only 30% of US respondents, was "making a profit." Interestingly, almost all of the factors that consumers in the US (probably the least socialist of countries studied) ranked as more important than "making a profit" were social welfare issues.
I have to say, if you are the CEO of a global food company and making a profit is not your top priority, you would not be the CEO of that company.
- One more, having to do with food sourcing:
"While 78% of consumers say they would like to get their foods from local farms or companies by the year 2020 ... just 17% of consumers said they “don’t care where food comes from” as long as it’s affordable and tastes good."As the researchers put it, "Consumers want local food, but they’re not willing to pay for it – in terms of either cost or taste."