When asked how much responsibility consumers believed food and drink companies have in providing healthy products, 52 percent said they hold the companies as having a high amount of responsibility in providing this and 37 percent believe the companies hold some responsibility in providing this. Only nine percent of consumers felt food and drink companies are not to be held responsible for ensuring consumers have a healthy diet.
More than 1,000 consumers worldwide were polled in the online survey conducted by Surveygoo—a market research agency—on behalf of Ingredient Communications.
Consumers in Asia were much more likely to place the burden of responsibility on food companies. Nearly seven in ten (68 percent) said food companies had a high amount responsibility for ensuring they have a healthy diet, compared with four in ten (39 percent) of the westerners surveyed.
“On the one hand, consumers expect food and drink manufacturers to demonstrate a commitment to helping them to eat healthily. On the other, many people distrust the information they provide,” said Richard Clarke, director at Ingredient Communications.
Globally, doctors and other healthcare professionals were the most trusted as sources of information about health and nutrition, with 72 percent of consumers ranking them either highest or second highest. After doctors, respondents put the most trust next in government and health authorities(ranked as highest by 23 percent).
The survey also revealed that levels of trust in the food industry are relatively low compared with other sources of information about health and nutrition, with four in ten respondents (41 percent) placing them in either last or second last place, and only five percent ranked them as their most trusted source of health and nutrition.
“Manufacturers need to continue to work hard to win the trust of consumers. Key to achieving this is the use of healthy, natural ingredients and embracing clean and clear labelling, as well as developing innovative new ways to demonstrate their commitment to promoting healthy diets,” concluded Mr Clarke.