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Survey: Food safety a top concern


San Francisco Most shoppers are highly concerned about the safety of the food they purchase and are willing to pay more for food they believe is safer or healthier, reports a new national survey of more affluent consumers. The research also found that assurances about what a food does not contain, such as pesticides or antibiotics, matter a great deal to consumers, as do ethical claims that reinforce perceptions about quality and safety.

These findings are among the highlights of a new research report, "Beyond Organic - How Evolving Consumer Concerns Influence Food Purchases." It reports on research recently conducted by Context Marketing, San Francisco, among consumers who fit the demographics for specialty grocery shoppers and identifies which food quality claims matter most to this audience.

The research found that 57% of respondents reported they were "definitely" or "very concerned" about the safety of the U.S. food supply, and another 39% said they are "slightly" or "somewhat" concerned." Just 4% said they had no concerns about food safety.

While respondents confirm that low price influences most food purchases, 60% said they would pay as much as 10% more for food they believe to be healthier, safer or produced to higher ethical standards, and 14%  reported they would pay a premium greater than 10%.

Acopy of the report is available at


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