Consumers’ number-one priority right now is to ensure their food is safe to eat. This is the perhaps unsurprising finding of certification body DNV GL’s ViewPoint survey, which interviewed 4,500 consumers from across the globe about their food purchasing habits. The study found that food safety (55%) and health issues (53%) are what most concern consumers right now, rather than more global issues such as the environment (38%) and social aspects (35%) relating to food purchases.
Human rights (13%) and animal welfare (16%) appear to be taking a back seat while the world confronts the coronavirus pandemic.
Joy Franks-Laing, global food and beverage manager at DNV GL Business Assurance, said, “Food safety is still top of the agenda for consumers. However, the survey results seem to indicate that while food and beverage manufacturers and retailers may have invested considerably in protecting consumers, they are not 100 per cent convinced that all products are safe to consume.” The report also highlighted a major trust gap, with unbranded packaged food (69%) not commanding the same degree of trust as branded goods (85%). Just 19% of respondents reported using QR codes on packaging regularly. However, this proportion would rise to 65% if it was perceived to offer insights into a product’s origin and verification of food safety standards being met. And 69% consumers are willing to pay more if product information is verified or if the product or manufacturer is certified to a food safety standard.
The survey was conducted in March 2020 using the CAWI (Computer Assisted Web Interviewing) methodology, and it involved 4,500 consumers across 15 countries in Europe, North America, South America and Asia.