WEST LAFAYETT, Ind. — Data trends emerging in 2022 help show that most people have been slow to start changing how much they spend on their favorite foods, even though the economic environment is much different than it was at the beginning of the year.But there are some notable exceptions to this stickiness of food behavior and preferences, according to a newly released report Consumer Food Insight Report.
Purdue University Investigative Report Center for Food Needs Analysis and Sustainability Assess food spending, consumer satisfaction and values, support for agricultural and food policy, and trust in information sources.
“Broadly speaking, consumers are facing some budget constraints this holiday season,” he said Jason LaskerDean and Distinguished Professor Agricultural Economics At Purdue University, who leads the center. “About one-third said they were concerned about not being able to afford a gift, but that was far from the majority. When we compared responses to inflation in December to last summer, most of these behaviors did not increase in frequency .”
However, Lusk drew attention to the growing shift to cheaper brands — unwelcome news for a brand struggling to build a consumer base.
Experts at Purdue University conducted and evaluated the survey, which included 1,200 consumers across the U.S. Other key findings were:
- Household food spending increased by more than 15% compared to January.
- Consumers are shopping more at discount stores and spending less on discretionary spending.
- 36% of consumers are concerned about being able to afford holiday gifts this year.
- 14% of shoppers found that certain items were out of stock, up from 25% in January.
- Sugar is the most common food consumers will restrict in their diets in 2022.
“A 15% increase in food spending this year is clearly a significant change, attracting
We’re very interested in its causes and effects,” Lasker said. “But it’s worth pointing out that our metrics like food safety and food satisfaction haven’t shifted similarly in either direction, which is a very good sign.” suggests that average happiness may not have declined. “
The findings also suggest that there has been no change in where people spend their money. Lusk noted that the popularity of online grocery shopping appears to be declining. This raises questions about the floor of online food shopping and whether it has been largely driven by the COVID pandemic.
As for food behavior, easing supply chain issues seems to mean it’s easier for consumers to find all the food they want.
“This year, chicken was the most reported item that people couldn’t find in the grocery store,” said Sam Polzin, a food and agriculture survey scientist at the center and a co-author of the report. “Given that we are in the midst of the deadliest outbreak of bird flu ever, this is not surprising.”
People also reported buying less sugar and related products.
“Considering how bad added sugar is for our health, it’s a nice change,” Polzin said. “But we also don’t know whether people are actually acting on their reported desire to reduce their sugar intake.”
Polzin drew attention to the food policy section of the December report, as debate over the new farm bill rages on this year.
“We observed small increases in popularity for each of the policies surveyed, which may indicate openness to a range of new food policies that are clearly communicated,” Porzin said.
The survey data further suggest that consumers’ understanding of potential threats to U.S. agriculture is fairly similar to that of experts. However, there is a mismatch in terms of possible improvements.
“Compared to experts, consumers underestimated the improvements from farm diversification because consumers believed that local and organic food production would bring similar or greater benefits,” Polzin said.
In addition, consumers believe that using stricter standards for GMOs will improve the well-being of Americans, which is completely at odds with experts. The mismatch, he said, shows that some of the science has not yet penetrated the public, or has even been distorted to promote false beliefs.
Lusk discusses the report further in his blog. The Center for Food Needs Analysis and Sustainability is Purdue’s next steps in agriculture and food systems And use innovative data analytics shared through a user-friendly platform to improve the food system.In addition to the Consumer Food Insights Report, the Center also offers an online product portfolio dash board.
writer: steve copes
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