Satisfying consumers’ demand for more information about their food

October 4, 2016

The latest consumer trust research from The Center for Food Integrity (CFI) shows that most consumers want even more information about food and how it’s produced. Only 28% strongly agree with the following statement: “I have access to all the information I want about where my food comes from, how it’s produced, and its safety.” The results show that consumers want transparency in very specific areas, including impact of food on health, food safety, animal well-being, and the environment.

“Having posed this question for eight straight years, we see that food system efforts are paying off as the long-term trend shows more consumers agreeing, but the overall number must rise if the goal is to earn consumer trust,” said Charlie Arnot, CEO of CFI. “The industry still has work to do.”

Consumers are crowdsourcing knowledge and relying on various sources, so using a variety of ways to reach consumers consistently and for the long haul is important—through websites, social media, promotional campaigns, and videos. The key is to make the information accessible and easy to understand, and to actively engage. Specifically, consumers want to see concrete examples of “practices,” which the research shows are most important to demonstrating transparency. Practices are a reflection of internal motivation, demonstrating values in action, and CFI’s trust model shows that demonstrating shared values is the foundation for building trust.

The research shows that highlighting third-party verification is important, particularly when it comes to animal well-being and food safety. Consumers also want to know about challenges and corresponding efforts for continuous improvement.

“They want the good, the bad, and the ugly, and to know that you’re working to resolve issues important to them,” said Arnot.


Press release