Survey: Most Consumers Changing Long-Term Buying Habits Due To Food Recalls
Source of Article: http://www.amonline.com/web/online/VendingMarketWatch-News/Survey--Most-Consumers-Changing-Long-Term-Buying-Habits-Due-To-Food-Recalls/1$23746
More than nine in 10
The study also found that while
two-thirds (68 percent) of Americans believe the instances of food
contamination have increased in the past five years, 87 percent continue to
somewhat or strongly agree that the
"This study clearly shows a growing awareness among the American public about issues related to food safety and the need for food manufacturers and producers to be prepared to address them quickly and openly," said Bill Zucker, managing director and food issues expert at Burson-Marsteller in a prepared statement.
"While most food producers take significant measures every day to protect our food, this should serve as a wakeup call to companies: Now is the time to perform a checkup on your crisis communications plan," Zucker said. "The good news for food companies is that there are some key actions they can take to regain the trust of consumers should an outbreak occur. But those actions require advanced preparation."
The study found that companies with strong brand awareness are more likely to withstand an incident of food contamination than less well known companies. An incident of contamination at a familiar company is more likely to be judged as an isolated event than a similar incident at a lesser known food company. The study also identified some actions companies could take to reassure the public during a contamination outbreak. For example, consumers look for information such as the brand names involved and what precautions to take if a family member becomes exposed.
"Consumers have high expectations about what food companies and regulators should do to ensure their safety," said Amy Leveton, senior vice president at Penn Schoen & Berland Associates. "This study shows that this is a critical time for the industry as there is a window of opportunity for companies and the industry to demonstrate that the safety of their products continues to be their top priority."
Some of the survey's other key findings include:
In conjunction with the survey, Burson-Marsteller launched the Quick Food Safety Communications Check Up, a method for food companies to gauge the effectiveness of their recall plans. To see more data from this survey and to learn more about the check up, visit: www.BM.com/Food_Safety.
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