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Agricultural News

Willingness to Pay Jumps in August Food Demand Survey From Oklahoma State University

Mon, 17 Aug 2015 03:40:35 CDT

Willingness to Pay Jumps in August Food Demand Survey From Oklahoma State University The latest FooDS survey conducted by the Ag Economics Department in the Division of Agriculture at Oklahoma State University saw a remarkable jump higher in the willingness to pay for all of the categories of food they have surveyed over the last three years. FooDS stands for Food Demand Survey and is conducted by Dr. Jayson Lusk and his team of analysts at OSU. The monthly survey was developed and started in May 2013.

In the August 2015 survey of of at least 1,000 individuals, weighted to match the US population in terms of age, gender, education and region of residence, the core question of the "willingness to pay" jumped from twelve to seventy eight percent higher in the eight products brought up by the survey. In percentage terms, the $3.07 that consumers say they would spend for rice and beans is 78.48% higher than in July of this year. The smallest of the percentage gains was for beef steak- up 12.78% to a willingness to pay of $8.03 per pound, up almost a dollar from the $7.12 willingness to pay figure in July. Last August, the willingness to pay for steak was $7.01 a pound.

Willingness to pay also jumped well above just a month ago for hamburger, pork chops, chicken breast, deli ham, chicken wings and pasta. WTP for all products reached their highest point this month since the beginning of FooDS in May 2013.

Dr. Lusk also tracks the awareness of food issues among consumers- and reports "Salmonella, GMO, and E. coli were the most visible issues in the news over the past two weeks. Awareness
decreased amongst all issues over the past month with the exception of Salmonella. The largest percent decrease from July to August was seen in gestation crates. Salmonella, E. coli, and antibiotics were ranked as the top three concerns during August. The largest percent increase in concern from last month was for Salmonella, pink slime, and cloning. The largest percent decrease in concern was for greenhouse gas and animal welfare."

Those surveyed were also asked to rate their personal values regarding the food that they buy. Taste, safety, and nutrition were consumers’ most important values when purchasing food this month.
Consumer values remained similar to those in past months, with a decrease in perceived value of appearance and origin, and an increase in perceived value of nutrition. Similar to previous months, consumers reported that their main challenge was finding affordable foods that fit within their budget. Finding time to cook at home and finding food children will eat remained the least pressing challenges. 5.35% of participants reported having food poisoning, a 12.01% decrease from July."

The FooDS survey also explores several "ad hoc" questions each month- that are asked on a one time basis to measure awareness of certain high profile issues. Perhaps the most interesting of the Ad Hoc questions in the August survey had to do with Antibiotic Use in Animal Agriculture. The question asked of the 1,000 people surveyed was “A restaurant is considering different antibiotic policies related to the sourcing of their animal products. Which of the following policies would you support or oppose the restaurant implementing for the farmers who supply their animal products?” Six statements were provided and participants could respond “support” or “oppose”. Approximately 77% of participants oppose the statement “The farmer can use antibiotics for growth promotion.” About 75% of
respondents opposed the statement ‘The farmer can use antibiotics for any purpose they deem reasonable”. A majority of participants supported the statements “The farmer can use antibiotics for disease prevention” and 80% supported a policy in which “The farmer can use antibiotics to treat sick animals”.

Other Ad Hoc questions in this latest report had to do with GMOs and also identifying cuts of meat back to the species- cow, pig or chicken. To review this latest report, click here. For more information about the FooDS survey series and to check out previous reports- dating all the way back to the start of the research series in 2013, click here.



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