The number of Americans considering healthfulness when purchasing foods and beverages rose 10 percentage points from 2012 to 2014, with 71% of consumers saying it was a deciding factor, according to a survey by the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC).
Taste and price were the most frequently mentioned influencers, cited by 90% and 73% of respondents, respectively.
“While people’s attitudes about healthfulness in their food and beverage purchases and consumption alone don’t necessarily mean we are a healthier country today than we were a year or two ago, it could be a signal that we are moving in the right direction,” said Marianne Smith Edge, SVP for nutrition and food safety at IFIC. “If perceptions translate into actions, the impact on the health and wellness of our nation could be significant and long-lasting.”
Among other findings in the survey:
• 83% of consumers reported they’ve tried eating more fruits and vegetables within the past year than in the previous year.
• 79% have cut calories by drinking water or low- and no-calorie beverages.
• 59% rely regularly on shopping lists to help plan what they eat, followed in usage by coupons (53%), in-store discounts (49%), recipes (45%) and meal plans (24%).
• 37% regularly buy food labeled “natural,” 35% bought foods labeled “local,” and 32% bought foods advertised as “organic.”
• 62% give “at least a little thought” to the environmental sustainability of their food and beverages, a 4% drop from 2012 and 2013.
The survey was conducted between March 26 and April 7, 2014 and involved 1,005 Americans ages 18 to 80.
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