Surveys Show Canadian Consumers Lack Trust in Food Nutrition Claims

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2041. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 26 January 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

Farm-Scape, Episode 2041

Research conducted by Ipsos Reid shows, while Canadian consumers want more information on the healthfulness of the food they consume, they're finding it increasingly difficult to trust that information.

Surveys conducted by Ipsos Reid and presented last week at the Banff Pork Seminar indicate Canadian consumers get most of their information about food from the media, primarily television or newspaper.

Vice President of Agribusiness, Food and Animal Health Dr. Susan Jones says Canadians indicate, while they want to eat in a more healthy manner, understanding what to eat to be healthy is so confusing they don't know what to eat.

"Canadians are really very interested now in understanding how to eat in a healthful manner but Canadians are confused.

In fact, in a recent survey that we did we saw that six in ten Canadians agree that there are so many choices out there now and so much conflicting and confusing information about what is healthy they don't know what to eat anymore and they don't know what they should choose in order to make a healthy choice.

While eight in ten Canadians agree that it would be helpful if the industry would label food products so they would understand what's a regular choice versus a healthy choice, the industry has a problem in that four in ten Canadians are not comfortable that the industry is telling the truth so, when a food manufacturer puts a label on a product as being more healthy, Canadians are not sure that they can believe that claim.

What we've seen in our research is that consistently, whether it's information about food safety, whether it's information about the environment, whether it's information about healthfulness, Canadians look for third party independent sources to tell them what really should they be doing, what's the right thing to do, what is the truth, far more than they look to industry to tell them.

Dr. Jones says it depends on the topic but if we're talking about food quality, nutrition and safety consumers trust university professors, physicians, dietitians, those that they perceive have expert knowledge and are independent from manufacturers and independent from any business interests.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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