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Agricultural News

OSU Ag Economics Department Releases Summary Report of FooDS Survey Series: Volume No. 5

Tue, 05 Jun 2018 15:43:10 CDT

OSU Ag Economics Department Releases Summary Report of FooDS Survey Series: Volume No. 5 Researchers at Oklahoma State University’s Agricultural Economics Department have been conducting the Food Demand Survey or ‘FooDS,’ for five years now. Each month since May 2013, this survey has been used to track consumer preferences and sentiments on the safety, quality, and price of food at home and away from home with particular focus on meat demand. FooDS is a monthly on-line survey with a sample size of at least 1,000 individuals, weighted to match the US population in terms of age, gender, education and region of residence. With the conclusion of this Volume 5 of this survey in April 2018, the research team has compiled the results of the survey over the past year into a summary report, which can be viewed in its complete form here. Some of the highlights of this report, though, are detailed below.

According to the summary report, consumers’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) for two beef, chicken and pork products, in addition to two non-meat items, was calculated each month since the beginning of FooDS. WTP for each food item over the course of the past two years has been compared in value set relative to May 2013 data. For example, the WTP index for chicken breasts in April 2018 was 101.05, meaning WTP in April 2018 was (101.05 - 100 = 1.05) 1.05% higher than in May 2013. Overall, this report reveals that WTPs for beef, pork, and chicken have generally been similar this year compared to last and were highest during year two of the FooDS survey. To view a chart that further illustrates this point, refer to the report link in the above paragraph.

Regarding food expenditures over the past year, the expense of food eaten at home reached a low of $91.12/week in Novemebr 2017 and a high of $98.06/week in May 2018. Consumers reported spending the least on food away from home in November 2017 at $48.03/week and the highest in May 2018 at $58.29/week. Consumers continually reported planning to spend less money away from home throughout the course of the survey, although, the report shows, they frequently do not follow through with those plans.

In addition, consumers generally expected to see higher meat prices each month, especially for beef, although the extent of these expectations varied across months. Over the past year, expected meat prices reached a high for beef, chicken, and pork in May 2018. Generally, expectations of price increases have been lower this year than last. Consumers reported that they planned to buy more chicken and beef, but less pork in most months.

When it came to general food values held by consumers, the report found that taste, safety, price, and nutrition remained as consumer’s top four most important values throughout the course of the FooDS survey, while environment, fairness, and novelty have stayed the values of least importance. Consumers reported that finding affordable foods to fit with-in their budget was their main challenge each month. Consumers reported that finding foods their children will eat was their least difficult challenge each month. The challenge of losing weight saw the largest increase in March.

In addition to the regular portion of the survey each month where the same general questions were asked, the survey also included a unique ad hoc section consisting of three to five extra questions. This portion was used to study and better understand topical food trends and preferences throughout the year. A complete list of questions and topics that were covered this past year can be found in the full version of the report. Refer to the aforementioned link to the report above.

One ad hoc question was circulated during the whole year, however, that is worth mentioning. A single state question was posed to survey respondents beginning in September 2017 through May 2018, which asked participants: “Many people believe their state is associated with a particular type of food. In the space below, please list one or more foods that you believe is most associated with the state in which you currently reside.” Over 9,000 responses were collected in the nine-month period. Many of the responses reflected the agriculture unique to the state and are rather predictable. For instance, many Oklahomans listed "beef". One unexpected answer though was "Indian tacos." For a full listing of each state and the food item reflecting that state which the researchers believe is the most interesting, click over to view the full report. A warning: some of the food items had only a few responses. For example, although Indian tacos was only mentioned for Oklahoma respondents, there were still only 2 out of 37 respondents who mentioned it.

Again to view the complete version of this summary report for Volume 5 of the FooDS Survey Series, click here, or to view the past results of individual surveys, visit the FooDS website by clicking here.

Source - Oklahoma State University



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