Food production on right path, but misperceptions remain
Doctors and Spouses Influence Food Choices
- 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).
- While doctors and nutritionists are Americans' top influencers regarding their opinion of food overall (73 percent), only 31 percent report their doctor influences their decision to buy types of foods based on how they are grown and raised.
- However, when given a broad list of options ranging from their doctor to their grocer, Americans said they are more likely to be influenced by their spouse or partner when making purchasing decisions (51 percent).
- One in 10 Americans says they'd rather not pay attention to how their food is grown and raised, and instead just enjoy it, while 40 percent report they do not pay attention.
Consumers, Farmers and Ranchers Share Insights on Food Knowledge and Information Sharing
The survey also asked consumers, farmers and ranchers about their knowledge on food and desire to either receive or share information:
Cost and Income Contribute to Food Knowledge
- While only one in five Americans overall strongly agree that knowing a lot about food has become a social status symbol (21 percent), 30 percent of Americans in lower to middle income households (<$50k) say food knowledge is a status symbol.
- Lower income households are particularly likely to say they would like to know more, but don't have the time or money to do so (68 percent among HHI < $30K).
Farmers and Ranchers Want Dialogue with Consumers
- The survey found that 51 percent of farmers and ranchers would like to see more emphasis on communication with consumers and customers, and half of Americans (50 percent) think farmers and ranchers are missing from the media conversation around food these days.
- Three-quarters of farmers and ranchers believe that the average consumer has very little to no knowledge about food production in general in the United States (76 percent), and only 47 percent of Americans have visited a farm or ranch in the past year.
- In fact, nearly three out of five farmers and ranchers believe consumers have an inaccurate perception of modern farming and ranching (59 percent).
- Americans overall (84 percent) believe that farmers and ranchers in America are committed to improving how food is grown and raised.