GMO food stories in the top five in terms of influence on behaviour
It's a safe bet that the Americans aged 40 and under who ranked GMOs in this survey as 2014's most important food story aren't thinking about how GMOs are going to feed the world, make the lame walk, and the blind see. They're far more likely to be concerned about what GMOs might be doing to their health.
A significant number of these people, according to the survey, are concerned enough to change their behaviour based on what they are reading. That's likely to mean that they are seeking out non-GMO and organic foods. And that they're not going to give up on GMO labelling.
There's more detail about the survey's findings in the slideshow here:
Top 2014 food stories: War on sugar created biggest behavior shift
by Karlene Lukovitz
Mediapost.com, December 12, 2014
In awareness terms, the great drought in the country's Western states was 2014's biggest food story, but in terms of changing behavior, the biggest news was the "war on sugar," according to the 12th annual Food Study from Hunter PR.
The report is based on an online survey, conducted in November, of a sample of 1,004 people representative of the U.S. adult population in terms of age, race and region, with quotas set for even representation by gender. The majority (84%) of respondents do the cooking and food shopping in their households.
The top five food stories overall were: The drought that drove up prices of beef and many other products, the shrinking bee population, the war on sugar, new food labeling standards, and genetically modified organisms/GMOs in food and beverages.
The bottom five: America's continued bacon obsession, the soda calories cutback, Michelle Obama's "Let's Cook" program, Coke's campaign with "personalized" names on packaging, and pumpkin spice mania.
This year, slightly fewer Americans overall said that they consider food stories to be "very important" (28%, versus 32% last year).
But at the same time, Americans reported a higher level of behavioral change overall based on food news stories than in 2013.
A quarter of respondents said stories about the war on sugar directly affected their behavior.
The other stories in the top five in terms of influence on behavior were: new food labeling standards, GMOs, soda calories cutbacks, and the drought.
Americans with children were particularly apt to indicate that they are checking food labels more often, eating less sugar, and paying more attention to where their food comes from.
New Year's Resolutions
The top resolutions are "try to lose weight by eating better" (cited by 44%), "eat less processed food" (36%), "eat and cook more at home" (30%), "save money on groceries" (29%), "eat less salt/sodium" (28%), and "drink beverages that have less sugar" (26%).
Those 40 and under ranked GMOs as the year's most important story, while those 41 and older chose the drought.
By gender, the drought was No. 1 among males, while the shrinking bee population was No. 1 among females.
Those with children ranked the war on sugar No. 1, while those without ranked the drought No. 1.
Millennials' attitudes toward food stories are markedly different than those of Gen X, Boomer and Matures. Their top three stories, in order: Coke's name campaign, GMOs, and pumpkin spice mania.
In contrast, both Boomers and Matures chose the drought as No. 1, and Gen X chose the shrinking bee population.
Also, unlike other cohorts, Millennials consider food stories to be more important than other types of news stories.
The media channels favored by the generations are correlated with influencing which stories they rank as most important.
Gen Xers, Boomers, and Matures all favor more traditional media sources (TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines), where broader, less food-centric stories — like the top two in this year's study — tend to be covered. But with Millennials, who get their general food news from Facebook more than any other source (30%) and are self-curating their social media content, pop cultural, and cause-related news stories dominated...