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Euromonitor – Consumers are reading labels more carefully

USA • Global market research company Euromonitor International released results from its annual Global Consumer Trends tracking survey of 28,000 online respondents in 20 markets worldwide. Among many findings, the new data shows that consumers are more conscientious about food and beverage labels and look for green product features that directly influence themselves and their families.

53% of survey respondents avoided at least five food ingredients in 2016, up from 35% in 2015. Concerns about artificial sweeteners, GMOs as well as trans-fat and hydrogenated oils increased the most – at least 9 percentage points –from 2015 to 2016. “Today, more than one-third of consumers are carefully reading food and beverage labels, scanning for ingredients on their ‘must avoid’ lists,” Lisa Holmes, senior survey analyst at Euromonitor International, said.

Products labelled as “natural” continue to resonate with 50% of survey respondents considering ‘natural’ product labels trustworthy in 2016 – a 14% point increase from 2011. However, a universal understanding of “natural” when it comes to product labels from a consumer’s perspective is unclear. In 2011, 48% of survey respondents defined “natural” as having strict regulations, which dropped to 26% in 2016. Similarly, 44% of respondents defined ‘natural’ as respecting animal welfare in 2011, which also decreased to 28% in 2016.

Consumers are also focusing on green, or eco-friendly, products that provide a direct self-benefit. Though 66% of consumers try to have a positive impact on the environment, only 15% are willing to pay more for recyclable products – whereas 39% are willing to pay more for natural features.

Euromonitor’s Global Consumer Trends survey annually tracks and explores the everyday habits and preferences of consumers worldwide, covering topics ranging from shopping activities to technology usage to spending patterns and cooking habits.

Armin Karl Geiger

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