Consumer willingness-to-pay

Even while Millennials’ food preferences turn toward premium products, consumers’ willingness-to-pay overall dropped this month, according to the new Food Demand Survey by Oklahoma State University.

The survey, which is performed monthly, explores consumer views of food safety, quality, and price, with an emphasis on meat products.

Here’s what they found for February 2017:

  • Willingness-to-pay was down across all food categories measured (i.e., six types of meat products, beans and rice, and pasta).
  • Expenditures increased slightly for both food eaten at home and food purchased away from home. But consumers expect meat prices to go down, and they plan to buy less of it.
  • Awareness of food issues, like contamination, animal welfare, and antibiotic use, dropped across the board. The biggest increase in concern was about cloning.
  • Food values and consumer challenges remained roughly the same. The top three values are taste, safety, and price, while the top challenge is “finding affordable foods that fit within my budget.”

This month’s survey contained an extra section about how consumers get their food news. The researchers looked at how consumers perceive the trustworthiness of news sources as well as how the information in those sources affects willingness-to-pay.

They found that while consumers rated Science Magazine and National Review as more trustworthy, they were more swayed by information they read in Natural Health and Food Babe. The researchers plan to release the full results of this part of the study as its own paper soon.

Read the report.

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