Our new Future of Food report highlights the top consumer priorities when shopping for food. Prices, safety, convenience or taste – what’s your biggest priority when you’re doing your weekly shop?
Last month we published research in the wake of the horsemeat scare that showed trust in the food industry had dropped by almost a quarter.
We called on the government to tighten up food safety legislation, improve surveillance and increase enforcement following the horsemeat crisis. Now the government has announced a review to establish exactly what went wrong.
Our Future of Food report again shows how important it is to consumers that the government, and the food industry, take action to ensure that we all have confidence in the food we buy.
Finding the nation’s food shopping priorities
As part of our research, we spoke to people up and down the country, asking them what they think about the future of our food.
Our findings reveal that price, quality and taste are the most important things to over nine in 10 of us when we are shopping for food. The majority of us also want more information on the quality of ingredients used, food safety standards and where our food is produced. And we think the government and the food industry are responsible for providing this.
Rebuilding food confidence
The priority for me when I go shopping is convenience. But I’d like to be able to buy safe, healthy and sustainable food easily. To do this, I need to have more information available.
I don’t eat meat, but if I did I should imagine I’d like to know that my corned beef is what it says on the tin. As it is, I would like to know if my jar of Italian pasta sauce actually contains tomatoes from Italy, or whether the ‘Italian’ part of my sauce is just a marketing gimmick.
And I want to be absolutely sure that my food is safe to eat. The horsemeat scandal has dented my confidence. It made me realise how long the supply chain is for some processed foods and has caused me to think differently about the food I buy. I now try to buy food that’s been produced locally, so that I can be as sure as possible it contains what it says it does.
My thinking is that with locally produced fare, there’s less chance that someone along the supply chain has put something in it that I don’t want to eat.
Focus on food strategy
Above all, I’d like a clear message from the government and the food industry that they have consumers’ safety and need for information at the heart of everything they do. To do this, there needs to be a clear food strategy that ensures we can produce food that is safe, sustainable, healthy and affordable. It also needs to make sure the food we buy is correctly labelled, so we can make informed decisions.
What are your priorities when you do your weekly shop? What changes would you like to see to help you make the choices you want to make when you shop for food?