Survey Shows Increased Consumer Confidence in How Food Is Grown

1/5/2013 7:00 AM

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. — The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance recently released findings of a survey conducted about Americans’ perceptions on food production.

The survey, conducted to share with consumer media prior to The Food DialoguesSM: New York, revealed that Americans increasingly believe food production is heading in the right direction.

However, the survey also found that Americans still have widespread misperceptions about how today’s food is grown and raised.

Key survey findings include:

53 percent of Americans believe food production is heading in the right direction — an increase from the 48 percent who believed the same in a benchmark 2011 survey.

More than one in four Americans (27 percent) admit they often are confused about the food they are purchasing. Young adults (18-29 years old) are more likely than any other age group to say they are often confused about food purchases (38 percent).

Three in five Americans would like to know more about how food is grown and raised, but don’t feel they have the time or money for that to be a priority (59 percent).

When it comes to dining out, Americans prioritize quality (48 percent), cost (42 percent) and taste (38 percent). When purchasing groceries, Americans prioritize cost (47 percent), quality (43 percent) and healthiness/nutrition (21 percent).

While Americans want to learn about organic farming and ranching (27 percent), nearly all report that it’s most important there are healthy choices available, even if they’re not organic or local options (91 percent).

Americans overall (84 percent) believe that farmers are committed to improving how food is grown and raised. Half of Americans (50 percent) think farmers and ranchers are missing from the media conversation around food these days.

The alliance also surveyed farmers and ranchers on their perceptions of consumers’ attitudes toward food production and what they want in a dialogue with consumers.

Findings indicated:

Three-quarters of farmers believe that the average consumer has very little to no knowledge about food production in the United States (76 percent). In fact, nearly three out of five farmers and ranchers believe consumers have an inaccurate perception of today’s agriculture (59 percent).

Farmers and ranchers want to see more of an emphasis on sustainability and the environment (42 percent) and transparency with consumers and customers (36 percent).

Farmers report topics best represented to American consumers include those related to family-owned farms (34 percent), commitment to food safety (23 percent) and the education level of farmers and ranchers (20 percent).

To learn more about the survey results, visit the news and information section of

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