Public perception toward food industry declining

by Staff
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NEW YORK — According to I-Rep — a biannual survey of Ipsos, a global survey-based market research company — public perception toward the food and beverage industry has been on the decline in recent months.

Increasing dissatisfaction toward the industry may be a result of excessive media coverage on issues related to health and nutrition, said Annabel Evans, vice-president of Ipsos Public Affairs and author of the I-Rep study.

Specifically, recent headlines concerning contaminated pet food and the Federal Trade Commission’s announcement in April that it will investigate the industry’s marketing toward children and adolescents could be raising concerns.

Additionally, many Americans cite trans fat, obesity and poor nutritional value when asked about what news they have recently seen or heard in regards to major food and beverage companies.

"This could be the beginning of a long-term decline in favorability towards the sector," Ms. Evans said. "If the public does not perceive that companies are taking significant steps to address the impact of their products on public health, we may see even more negativity."

Yet despite negative feelings, the food and beverage industry still enjoys a relatively high public perception compared with other market sectors, with 61% of the public favorable and 8% unfavorable. The pharmaceutical, tobacco, and oil and gas industries have much higher public dissatisfaction rates.

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