Everyone knows that Americans spend less money on food than any other country in the world. But a study on affluent shoppers showed that they would be willing to spend as much as 10% more for food to ensure that it was safe, moral and environmentally friendly. I think that American consumers are greatly underestimated. Liking in expensive things and being thrifty is not a bad thing. And before recently the way our food was grown/raised and the conditions for the workers was not a national topic. People didn’t know where their food came from. But that is changing. People have started to care and this study proves given the facts, the risks and the concerns Americans are willing to step up and make educated decisions.
- While respondents confirmed that low price is a major influence on most food purchases, 60 percent said they would pay up to 10 percent more for food they think is healthier, safer or produced according to higher ethical standards, and 14 percent said they would pay a premium greater than 10 percent.
- According to the report, 57 percent of respondents said they were “definitely” or “very concerned” about the safety of the U.S. food supply, with another 39 percent “slightly” or “somewhat” concerned.” Only 4 percent said they had no concerns about food safety.
- The September 2009 online survey included 600 working adults between the ages of 20 and 64, equally representing women and men living in major U.S. markets. Almost all of the respondents had at least some college education, and 64 percent had earned a college degree or higher. Fifty percent had a yearly household income of $75,000 or higher.
While this shift may not be fast enough for everyone, I think it is great that Americans have started to speak up and demand higher quality products and better treatment of the land, animals and workers.
I will be interested in seeing the data for household’s with incomes un $75,000. I know we think of organic, free range and natural products as part of the upper class diet, but a surprising number of middle and low income families purchase these products.