Ninety-six percent of EU citizens say quality is a factor when deciding whether to buy a food product, survey says; 91% say price is a key factor

BRUSSELS , July 6, 2012 (press release) – More than 90% of EU citizens find quality and price an important factor when buying food, and more important than origin (71%) and brand (47%) – indeed they were deemed "very important" by 65% (quality) and 54% (price), according to a new EUROBAROMETER survey on food security, food quality and the countryside, which is published today. Quality labels are important for two-thirds of respondents, and there is an improvement on previous years in the recognition of the different EU quality logos. The survey showed that 24% of those asked already recognise the EU organic logo, less than 2 years after it was launched. On food security, three-quarters of EU citizens expressed concern at the challenge of feeding the world’s population, but less than 60% are concerned about the ability of the EU and Member States to meet the food needs of their populations. Most EU citizens regard agriculture as making a positive contribution to preserve rural areas. This is consistent across most Member States and socio-demographic groups. There is a broad consensus that agriculture plays a beneficial role. For the survey, more than 26 500 European citizens aged 15 and above were interviewed in all 27 EU Member States.

Key findings:

"Food security": Some 56% of respondents are not preoccupied by the level of food production in their country and 57% are not preoccupied by this at EU level as a whole. On the other hand, 76% of respondents are preoccupied by the level of food production in the world. Following on from those results, 84% of people agree that the EU should help other countries to increase their food production. Some 81% agree that the EU should increase its own food production to depend less on imports, and 77% agree that EU should produce more to satisfy the needs of its own citizens, as well as the demand from outside the EU.

Food quality: For 96% of respondents food quality is a factor when deciding to buy or not to buy products – it comes even before price, which is cited by 91% of respondents. The origin of the product is less crucial, but still important to 71% of respondents. By contrast the brand is not considered important by 50% of respondents, as opposed to the 47% of those who consider it important. Quality labels are important to 67% of respondents.

Agriculture and the countryside: When asked about the relationship between agriculture and the countryside, 81% of respondents consider that agriculture is beneficial for the environment, 86% agree that it contributes to the beauty of the countryside and 89% believe that agriculture helps to protect rural areas.

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