Industry At A Glance: Changing Consumer Attitudes

Antibiotic use, hormones, GMOs and humane handling are growing concerns of U.S. grocery shoppers.

Nevil Speer

December 4, 2013

2 Min Read
Industry At A Glance: Changing Consumer Attitudes

Where Food Comes From, Inc. recently commissioned the Service Management Group to conduct an independent survey to better understand grocery consumer perceptions and preferences with respective to a variety of issues. Survey respondents consisted of nearly 2,000 consumers shopping across a broad representation of grocery chains – half of whom had recently shopped at either Kroger or Walmart. Additionally, survey demographics closely matched U.S. Census data in terms of age, gender and household income.

The graph below represents one of the key questions included in the survey: “How has your attitude about the following issues changed during the past few years?” Specific reference within that question was made relative to antibiotics, hormones/growth promotants, genetically modified foods, humane treatment of animals, and farm or producer values. The illustration details the percentage of respondents who indicated they were either much more or more concerned about the respective issues.

consumer attitude towards beef industry

As with any survey, there’s always room for interpretation of the results – no survey is ever perfect. However, given the broad representation of the respondents and their subsequent responses, it’s evident consumers appear to be more aware of the various issues and thinking about them more.

What’s your assessment of survey results like this? What does it mean for our industry in terms of communicating with consumers about these sorts of important topics? What opportunities might be out there for producers to take advantage of this type of response? Leave your thoughts below.


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About the Author(s)

Nevil Speer

Nevil Speer serves as an industry consultant and is based in Bowling Green, KY.

Nevil Speer has extensive experience and involvement with the livestock and food industry including various service and consultation projects spanning such issues as market competition, business and economic implications of agroterrorism, animal identification, assessment of price risk and market volatility on the producer segment, and usage of antibiotics in animal agriculture.
Dr. Speer writes about many aspects regarding agriculture and the food industry with regular contribution to BEEF and Feedstuffs.  He’s also written several influential industry white papers dealing with issues such as changing business dynamics in the beef complex, producer decision-making, and country-of-origin labeling.
He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Institute for Animal Agriculture.
Dr. Speer holds both a PhD in Animal Science and a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

Contact him at [email protected].

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