Food recalls, particularly when it comes to meat products, increase
consumer concerns about the products they buy. Some consumers have even stopped
buying products, or eating certain foods.
These were the results of a survey conducted by Deloitte Consulting. Of
those surveyed, 73% said they believe the number of food-related recalls has
increased in the past year; 76% of consumers are more concerned about the foods
they eat than 5 years ago; and 57% have stopped eating a particular food,
temporarily or permanently, as a result of recalls.
Meat product recalls
The survey results show that concerns are especially high around recalls of
meat products, with 78% of consumers saying they are most concerned by beef
recalls, followed by chicken recalls (67%), recalls of fresh fruit and
vegetables (53%) and recalls of dairy products (53%).
Products from outside US
Consumers also expressed reservations about foods produced outside the US -
56% think imported foods are "not at all" or only "somewhat" safe, whereas 80%
believe domestically produced foods are safe.
"These findings underscore how urgent it is for food manufacturers to do
all they can to address the problem of food recalls head-on," said Pat Conroy,
Deloitte LLP's vice chairman. "â€¦ over half of today's consumers may drop your
product if they believe you are not doing what it takes to protect them and
their families. Food manufacturers may consider taking a total approach to
ensure the safety of their brands, all the way from the farm, to the supply
chain, the store shelves and even the consumer's pantry."
"In today's environment, consumers are seeking fresher ingredients, giving
locally grown food providers an important advantage they haven't really had in
the past," said Conroy. "If food safety concerns continue to grow, consumers may
be increasingly likely to shop outside the grocery store for fresh meats,
produce and dairy products."
The survey was commissioned by Deloitte and conducted online by an
independent research company on April 21, 2008. The survey polled a nationally
representative sample of 1,110 consumers.