In December, 2015, the Consumer Reports® National Research Center conducted a nationally representative phone survey to assess consumer opinion regarding the labeling of food. Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) of Princeton, New Jersey administered the survey to a nationally representative sample of 1,005 adult US residents (half of the respondents were women) through its CARAVAN Omnibus Survey. Respondents were selected by means of random-digit dialing and were interviewed via phone. The data were statistically weighted so that respondents in the survey are demographically and geographically representative of the US population. This report summarizes the findings from this survey:
- Range of Environmental and Safety Concerns Important to Food Shoppers: A range of environmental, safety and social responsibility objectives are key (very important or important) to most US consumers when purchasing food.
- Consumers Want More Stringent Standards for Natural and Organic Labeling on Meat and Poultry: Many consumers think that the natural or organic label on meat and poultry currently means that no artificial ingredients, growth hormones, genetically modified ingredients, or antibiotics were used; an even greater amount of consumers feel that this labeling should indicate this.
- Consumers Demand More Standards for Natural and Organic Labels on Packaged and Processed Foods: Many consumers think that the natural or organic label on packaged and processed foods currently means that no pesticides, artificial ingredients, artificial chemicals, or genetically modified ingredients were used; an even greater amount of consumers feel that this labeling should indicate this.
- Many Consumers Would Buy ‘Natural’ if It Met Their Expectations: While nearly 4 out of 10 consumers currently do not buy food labeled natural, among this group, three quarters would buy food labeled natural if the label met their expectations.
- Many Would Pay More for ‘Natural’ if It Met Their Expectations: While many (62%) consumers already buy food labeled natural, the overwhelming majority (87%) of these consumers would pay even more for natural food if the label met their expectations.
- Consumers Split on if NATURAL Label is Verified: Consumers are divided on if the natural label is verified. While half think the natural label isn’t verified, 45% think it is.
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