IFIC survey: US foodies looking for minimally processed and healthier food

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16 Aug 2017 --- Foodies have a different definition of healthy food compared to other Americans, and they are the only group of six to choose “minimally processed” in their top three attributes of healthy food. This is according to the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation’s 2017 Food and Health Survey, which lists foodies’ other top two attributes as “free from artificial ingredients, additives” and “high in healthy components or nutrients.”

Foodies were also found to be more confident in their knowledge of nutrition, with 60 percent of foodie respondents able to name a food or nutrient associated with their most desired health benefit. Only 44 percent of the general population could do the same.

Click to EnlargeDistinguished from other consumers
According to IFIC, this year’s Food and Health Survey should: “help us understand how different consumers think about and shop for food beyond traditional demographics, like age, income or gender.”

A total of one in seven respondents to the survey was said to fit the survey’s profile of a foodie, a shopper who sacrifices cost and convenience for a higher-quality product. The other groups identified were pleasure shoppers, diligent searchers, product selectors, unbiased buyers and indifferent consumers.

“As in previous years, the Food and Health Survey has shown us what drives consumers in their food purchasing decisions, but this is the first year we took a look at how foodies distinguish themselves from consumers generally,” says Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling, Ph.D., Vice President of Research and Partnerships at the IFIC Foundation. “Our hope is that by better understanding the attitudes, perceptions and habits behind consumer behavior, we can work with partners to enhance and develop effective nutrition education strategies.”

Among the survey’s other findings, foodies were found to have a median age of 58 – higher than other groups – and nearly two-thirds (63 percent) were female. They were also found to be affluent, with the majority (52 percent) of foodies making over US$75,000 per year.

They are also not as concerned with sustainability or packaging. However, for foodies, taste is still the most important thing when deciding to purchase a food or beverage.

The results are derived from an online survey of 1,002 Americans ages 18 to 80, conducted from March 10-29, 2017. Results were weighted to ensure that they are reflective of the American population, as seen in the 2016 Current Population Survey. Specifically, they were weighted by age, education, gender, race/ethnicity and region. The survey was conducted by public opinion and market research company Greenwald & Associates, using Research Now’s consumer panel.

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