Showing results for: Consumer perceptions and preferences
The report Let's Talk About Meat: changing dietary behaviour for the 21st century is launched alongside a new YouGov survey, commissioned by the Eating Better alliance and Friends of the Earth, which looked into the awareness and attitudes on meat among the among the public in Britain. The survey found that around one in three people (35%) in Britain say they are willing to consider eating less meat, with one in five (20%) saying they have already cut back on the amount of meat they eat over the last year. Only 5% say they are eating more.
This new paper by Chatham House reports on a 12-country survey undertaken into public understanding of the links between livestock and climate change. Livestock – Climate Change’s Forgotten Sector - Global Public Opinion on Meat and Dairy Consumption finds a major lack of awareness of the meat and dairy sector’s contribution to climate change.
A decline in meat production combined with further increase in demand could spur businesses to look for alternative food protein sources, said Media Eghbal, head of countries analysis at Euromonitor International when being interviewed by the Food navigator.
This study reveals that consumers tend to underestimate calorie counts for companies with positive corporate responsibility programs, and then consume more of the foods produced by them. The study suggests that consumers may infer (often incorrectly), that if the company is engaged in doing ‘good deeds’, their products are healthy. For the research, they split participant groups between two fictional product launches, one company with a positive CSR profile, and the other with neutral CSR, and determined that participants consuming products from the positive CSR profile, ate more. Furthermore, these participants also underestimated the consumed calories for the company with the positive CSR.
According to the latest Greendex survey by the National Geographic Society, more people are eating local and organic foods and plan to consume less meat and bottled water. However, most also believe they lack enough information and influence to become more environmentally sustainable consumers. The survey, undertaken in collaboration with research consulting firm GlobeScan, measured consumption habits and attitudes in 18 countries. Each was scored on the relative size of its environmental footprint.
About 1900 species of insects are eaten worldwide by at least 2 billion people – not because they are short of food, but out of choice. But for most Western consumers the idea of insects as food is disgusting. However, a handful of entrepreneurial start-ups are working to change this.
The annual report 2013 from Bioversity international contains a special discussion on “Improved nutrition through sustainable food choices”.
The sustainable diets research by Bioversity focuses on food and food systems, taking into account food diversity and how it can be produced and acquired across all seasons and under different economic circumstances.
A recent study published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes explores the perils of conducting economic research in a vacuum. The researchers found that after completing a lesson in calculative economics participants were significantly more likely to behave in selfish ways and ‘engage in unethical behaviors to better themselves’. However, those participants who instead completed a history lesson (in this case specifically on the industrial revolution) were less likely to behave selfishly after.
A new paper published in Futures urges discussions about unsustainable food consumption to include more consideration of consumer habits and practices. Responding to reports by the World Economic Forum and the European Commission, it hypothesises that technological innovations and ‘produce more with less’ approaches fail to take into account the varied and nuanced consumer attitudes that surround food, and therefore do not fully consider whether the public would ever actually adopt proposed solutions.
Food taxes & subsidies are effective at improving diets, according to a systematic review carried out by Australian researchers and published in the journal Nutrition Reviews. The systematic review analyses evidence from research published between January 2009 and March 2012 looking at the effectiveness of food taxes and subsidies on consumption. Included in the review were only papers assessing a specific food tax and those which directly and prospectively observed consumer responses to a fiscal policy intervention.
This new paper published in Nature Climate Change, focuses on food demand-side climate change mitigation options. It suggests that if current trends continue, food production alone will reach (if not exceed) the global targets for total greenhouse gas emissions in 2050. Diet preferences are shifting globally toward meat-heavy western foods with a high GHG-impact and this, combined with a growing global population, imply that even if we manage to increase agricultural yields (through for example sustainable intensification), this will not be enough to meet projected food demands.