Lack Of Trust Exists Between The General Public And The Packaged Foods Industry

LOS ANGELES , January 30, 2018 () – What’s the trust level between the general public and the packaged foods industry? According to a study by the Center for Food Integrity, it isn’t good.

The study found a "trust deficit" that exists between consumers and food companies, federal regulators and farmers. Only 33% of survey respondents said they "strongly agree" that they are confident in the safety of the food they eat, compared to 47% in 2017.

Additionally, only 25% of respondents believe U.S. meat is derived from humanely treated animals, and just 30% strongly agree that American farmers take good care of the environment, compared to 42% in 2017. Less than half of respondents (44%) said they had a positive impression of food manufacturing. 

“I am often asked why consumers have a certain, often inaccurate, impression of the food system,” said Roxi Beck, director at CFI. “My response is simple: because farmers and food companies haven’t engaged consumers in a way that addresses their underlying concerns. The food system is making great strides toward transparency and responsiveness, which is tremendous, but there is more work to be done.”

Added Charlie Arnot, chief executive officer at CFI: “If you’re held responsible and trusted for ensuring safe and healthy food, you are seen as a credible source. However, if you’re held responsible but not trusted, that’s a dangerous disconnect that can’t be ignored.”

According to the survey, federal regulatory agencies are held most responsible for ensuring safe food, following by food companies and farmers. However, when it comes to trust, federal regulatory agencies rank eighth, and food companies rank last on a list of 11 choices.

“The potential fallout is serious, and we’re already witnessing consequences in the food system as public interest in food production and processing grows,” Arnot said. “A lack of trust can result in increased pressure for additional oversight and regulations, rejection of products or information and consumers seeking alternate and perhaps unreliable information sources.”

Nevin Barich is the Food and Beverage Analyst for Industry Intelligence, which can help YOU better address your own industry challenges. We invite you to come take a look at our service. Call us today at 310-553-0008 and we’ll schedule you for a 15-minute demo.

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