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Agricultural News

Latest Food Demand Survey Updates Willingness to Pay by Consumers- And Attitudes About GMOs

Thu, 14 May 2015 11:43:48 CDT

Latest Food Demand Survey Updates Willingness to Pay by Consumers- And Attitudes About GMOs The latest edition of the Food Demand Survey has been released by the Ag Economics Department of Oklahoma State University- and the willingness to pay by consumers here in May has slipped for steak, chicken breasts, deli ham and chicken wings compared to the April questionaire. Consumers say they are willing to pay more for hamburger and pork chops this month- compared to April. In all cases for these meat items- consumers are willing to pay more than they did in May 2014.

For steak- the willingness to pay price for May is $7.45, down 7.12% from the previous month, while the chicken breast price is $5.36 a pound, off 4.11% from last month.

Food expenditures are estimated by consumers to be slightly less in May versus April at $96.32 on a weekly basis. That's virtually flat with the expenditure reported in May 2014 of $96.34. The amount spent by consumers in eating away from home was up twenty one cents compared to a month ago- at $53.23. The survey reports that "consumers expect higher meat prices and expect to buy more beef, chicken and pork compared to one month ago. Inflationary expectations are lower than was the case a year ago."

The Survey reports that "Taste, safety and price remained consumers' most important values when purchasing food this month. Consumer values remained similar to those in past months, with an increase in perceived value of taste, safety and appearance, and a decrease in perceived value of nutrition and environment."

Each month, the Food Sruvey also asks several "Ad Hoc" questions, with the subject this month centered around GMOs. The first question asked “Which of the following best describes your position on labeling of genetically engineered food?” Over half of the respondents answered, “Food companies should be required to label genetically engineered food in all circumstances”. About one fifth thought labeling should only be required if there is a health or safety risk, and another 18% did not have a strong position. The remaining 6.5% of respondents stated “In general, food companies should not be required to label genetically engineered food but voluntary labels are permitted”.

Secondly, participants were asked: “How should the issue of mandatory labeling of genetically engineered food be decided?” The majority, 61%, of the respondents stated “by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)”. Just over 10% of repspondents stated “I don’t know” and only 5% of respondents stated “by ballot initiatives in each state”.

The Survey also explored how consumers say they would respond to a label showing whether or not a fgood label indicated that the product in the package included ingredients from a GMO crop or not.

Finally, the FOOD Demand Survey asked about consumers' interest in Avian Influenza- or Bird Flu.

Participants were asked to what extent they agreed or disagreed to the following statements relating to avian influenza, more commonly known as bird flu. The first statement read: “I plan to eat less turkey and eggs in the future because of the outbreak of avian influenza (bird flu)”. 22.7% of respondents stated they either agreed or strongly agreed, 43.8% stated they disagreed or strongly disagreed, and 33.48% stated they neither agreed nor disagreed.

The second statement read: “I am concerned about the safety of the turkey and eggs I eat because of the outbreak of avian influenza (bird flu)”. 36.7% stated they either agreed or strongly agreed, 31.3% stated they either disagreed or strongly disagreed, and 32% stated they neither agreed nor disagreed.

Dr. Jayson Lusk, Regents Professor and Willard Sparks Endowed Chair in the Department of Agricultural Economics, leads the team that has developed and conducts the monthly Food Demand Survey. The purpose of this project is to track consumer preferences and sentiments on the safety, quality, and price of food consumed at home and away from home. The project tracks consumer awareness of food-related issues and events. Moreover, the project has tracked and indexed consumer demand for several retail meat products. The May 2015 report is the first month of the third year for this ongoing data set. To see the entire May 2015 report, click here.

The Food Demand Survey webpage within the Ag Economics part of the Oklahoma State University website can be seen by clicking here.



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