64% of Americans Scrutinize Food Labels, Finds Consumer Survey

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02 Jul 2015 --- Consumers all around the world pay closer attention than ever to what they eat every day. This already becomes apparent in the supermarket: more than half of all Europeans (53 percent) and 64 percent of US-Americans take a critical look at the label of food and beverages before they put them in their shopping trolley.

In Asia and South America, consumers are even more sensitive. Here, 84 and 75 percent respectively want to know what is in a product before they buy it. These are findings of a recent consumer study, which has been commissioned by the GNT Group, leading global provider of Colouring Foods. For the study, the market research institute TNS surveyed more than 5,000 consumers from ten countries in Asia, America and Europe on their shopping and eating habits.Click to Enlarge

The study concludes that natural ingredients play a significant role in purchasing food and beverages. 68 percent of all consumers state that they usually choose the healthier product option in the supermarket. In order to make a substantiated purchasing decision, however, they depend on easy to understand product information: for 67 percent of all consumers worldwide, comprehensible details on ingredients and additives determine the choice of food and drinks. They wish for short ingredient lists whose components they know and understand.

When looking at a label, consumers do not evaluate every component of a product individually. Especially when the given information is excessive and hard to understand, they resort to a method of elimination and scan the label for certain ingredients they personally avoid. If they discover them among the contents, the product is put back onto the shelves.

In the course of this process, consumers pay special attention to colouring ingredients. For nearly two thirds (60 percent) of consumers worldwide, the absence of artificial colourants is of major importance for their purchase decision. “The study’s results clearly show that natural ingredients become more important all around the globe. Many manufacturers already comply with consumers’ wishes by, for example, using Colouring Foods exclusively made from natural raw materials and clearly indicating that on the label. This development will continue to gather momentum in the upcoming years”, says Dr. Hendrik Hoeck, Managing Director of GNT Group.

In the study, the general stance of consumers towards buying groceries was also surveyed. The results show that shopping rates high among the majority: 63 percent take time at the supermarket to get an overview of the range of products and new offers. Only then do they decide on what to buy. Additionally, 47 percent of all consumers claim that they simply enjoy shopping for groceries. They browse the shelves – no matter if they need to fill their fridge or not. For them, visiting a supermarket is not an annoying duty but a chance to give themselves and their family a treat. Only about a quarter of all consumers wish to get grocery shopping over and done with as quickly as possible and thus always buy the same products.

“The increasing consumer demand for a healthy and balanced diet also manifests itself in the shopping behaviour. Consumers no longer choose their products inconsiderately but look out for new and better alternatives. This offers potential for food and beverage manufacturers who can meet the demand for healthy and natural products”, says Dr. Hendrik Hoeck.

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