Friday, July 13, 2007

Newsflash: Contrary to market wisdom, Americans do care about more than just price

Call me crazy, but I think we've got something like a groundswell going here. Check out the results of this Consumer Reports poll, released on Wednesday following a phone survey in June. A few of the highlights:
  • 92% of consumers agree that imported foods should be labeled by their country of origin; a 2002 Farm Bill provision mandated country-of-origin-labeling (COOL) but implementation was delayed until 2008; now there's hope Congress may move the enforcement date up to September 2007
  • 86% of consumers expect the 'natural' label to mean that processed foods contain no artificial ingredients (so no more sneaking in the high fructose corn syrup, please; ditto for partially hydrogenated corn oil)
  • 83% of consumers expect 'natural' meat to come from animals that were raised in a natural environment. Currently, the USDA standard for natural meat only pertains to how the cut of meat was processed and not how the animal was raised or what it ate
  • Only 46% of consumers approved of using the 'pasteurized' label in place of 'irradiated.' This is bad news for producers depending on irradiation to cover for the poor sanitation endemic to feedlot operations, because just 29% of consumers would buy 'irradiated' meat

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