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Consumer Trust in Food - UK - June 2013

“Nearly eight in ten adults consider the food industry to be too reliant on mass manufacturing. However, for mass-produced products, highlighting the involvement of humans – whether it’s a farmer, company owner or even the workers on the production line – on-pack or in other communications, can help to convey the human dimension.”

– Alex Beckett, Senior Food Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • Where do consumers see supermarkets’ responsibilities lying with regard to the food industry?
  • How can supermarkets forge a more caring image towards farmers?
  • What steps can mass manufacturers take to project a more ‘human’ image?
  • How can manufacturers and supermarkets restore consumer trust in their awareness of ingredients’ origin?

This report analyses consumer trust in the food industry in light of the horsemeat scandal of 2013.

Among the report findings is a startling lack of confidence among consumers in the UK food industry’s ability to provide food that is safe to eat, and a low confidence in supermarkets’ and manufacturers’ level of awareness of where ingredients originate from. Yet it also identifies how attributes like British ingredients, details of where and when the product was manufactured and animal welfare certification can improve consumer trust in food.

In this report, Mintel primarily aims to investigate consumer attitudes towards the UK food industry and various operators within it, with a specific focus on trust, following the horsemeat scandal in 2013.

The focus area of this report is the in-home food market the UK.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The horsemeat scandal and its impact
              • Some 17 products were implicated…
                • …with a limited impact on sales…
                  • …but a boost to interest in British food
                    • Figure 1: Factors influencing choice when buying food and (non-alcoholic) drink, December 2012 and March 2013
                  • Implicated operators shorten supply chains in response
                    • Government looks to product testing and origin labelling
                      • The consumer
                        • Only half of consumers trust the food industry to provide safe food
                          • Figure 2: Attitudes towards the food industry, April 2013
                        • Supermarkets seen by most as responsible for low prices, manufacturers for healthiness of food
                          • Figure 3: Who do consumers see as responsible for selected qualities of food products and aspects of sourcing, April 2013
                        • British ingredients and detailed labelling are most likely to foster trust
                          • Figure 4: Factors that encourage consumer trust in food, April 2013
                        • What we think
                        • Issues in the Market

                            • Where do consumers see supermarkets’ responsibilities lying with regard to the food industry?
                              • How can supermarkets forge a more caring image towards farmers?
                                • What steps can mass manufacturers take to project a more ‘human’ image?
                                  • How can manufacturers and supermarkets restore consumer trust in their awareness of ingredients’ origin?
                                  • Trend Application

                                      • Trend: Prove It
                                        • Trend: Patriot Games
                                          • Mintel Futures Trend: Brand Intervention
                                          • Broader Market Environment

                                            • Key points
                                              • Food labelling information was under scrutiny prior to horsemeat scandal
                                                • Calls for tougher penalties for food fraudsters
                                                  • Nearly nine in ten adults eat meat
                                                    • Figure 5: Usage of meat, poultry and seafood, by type, by frequency, July 2012
                                                  • Reported food safety incidents are on the rise
                                                    • Figure 6: Number of food safety incidents in the UK, 2006-11
                                                  • Imports account for half of food consumed in the UK
                                                    • Figure 7: Share of food consumed in the UK originating in the UK*, 1988-2011
                                                  • Halal meat contaminated with pork found in prisons and schools
                                                  • The Horsemeat Scandal and Responses to It

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Horsemeat: A Timeline
                                                        • January 2013
                                                          • February 2013
                                                            • March 2013
                                                              • April 2013
                                                                • British, local and regional origin become more important to consumers in the wake of the scandal
                                                                  • Figure 8: Factors influencing choice when buying food and (non-alcoholic) drink, December 2012 and March 2013
                                                                • Supermarkets look to shorten supply chain…
                                                                  • Figure 9: Share of UK in-home food sales, by retailer, 2012
                                                                • …as do suppliers and brands
                                                                  • Government calls for regular spot checks
                                                                    • Consumers are urged to check for assurance scheme logos
                                                                    • The Sales Impact of the Horsemeat Scandal

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Frozen red meat sales nosedive following horsemeat debacle
                                                                          • Figure 10: Retail value and volume sales of selected UK food categories, 52 weeks to December 2012 and to April 2013
                                                                        • Frozen ready meal sales suffer more than chilled formats
                                                                          • Vegetarian food fails to convincingly capitalise on the meat market’s troubles
                                                                          • Consumer Trust in Food Brands

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Mintel brand research
                                                                                • Heinz scores highest for consumer trust
                                                                                  • Figure 11: Top ten most trusted food brands*, January 2012- April 2013
                                                                                • McVitie’s Digestives benefits from heritage and everyday appeal
                                                                                  • Hovis is the most trusted bread brand
                                                                                    • Trust in Philadelphia benefits from its innovative and healthy side
                                                                                    • Consumer Attitudes Towards the Food Industry

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Just half of adults think the industry provides food that is safe to eat
                                                                                            • Figure 12: Attitudes towards the food industry, April 2013
                                                                                          • Concerns about lack of FSA regulation…
                                                                                              • Figure 13: Agreement with the statements ‘I would like to see stricter regulations in the food industry’ and ‘I am interested in knowing how the food industry is regulated’, by age, April 2013
                                                                                            • …and about traceability
                                                                                              • Figure 14: Agreement with the statement ‘Food manufacturers (eg food factories) are aware of where their ingredients originate from’, by age, April 2013
                                                                                            • Nearly two in five adults are unsure about the accuracy of food labelling
                                                                                              • Figure 15: Agreement with the statement ‘Supermarkets/food manufacturers provide accurate labelling (eg ingredients, origin) on food packaging’, by gender, April 2013
                                                                                            • Various operators globally offer detailed information on product origin
                                                                                              • Attitudes towards food labelling differ by gender
                                                                                                • The food industry is overly reliant on mass manufacturing, claim eight in ten adults
                                                                                                  • Figure 16: Agreement with the statement, ‘The food industry relies too much on mass manufacturing’, by age, April 2013
                                                                                                • Two fifths of adults are satisfied the industry can react effectively to food scares
                                                                                                  • Supermarkets are seen as relatively uncaring towards farmers
                                                                                                    • Figure 17: Agreement with the statement ‘Supermarkets care about British farmers’, by age, April 2013
                                                                                                  • Only one in three adults think supermarkets set fair prices
                                                                                                    • Figure 18: Agreement with the statement ‘Supermarkets set fair prices for consumers’, April 2013
                                                                                                • Who do Consumers See as Responsible for Selected Aspects of the Food Chain?

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Ensuring that food is safe to eat
                                                                                                      • Figure 19: Who do consumers see as responsible for selected qualities of food products and aspects of sourcing, April 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 20: Who do consumers see as responsible for ensuring ‘That food is safe to eat (ie following food safety regulations)’, by age and gender, April 2013
                                                                                                    • Ensuring that food production has minimal impact on the environment
                                                                                                      • Figure 21: Who do consumers see as responsible for ensuring ‘That food production has minimum impact on the environment’, by gender, April 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 22: Who do consumers see as responsible for ensuring ‘That the UK food chain is as sustainable as possible’, 16-24s vs over-65s, April 2013
                                                                                                    • Ensuring that food is easy to prepare
                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Who do consumers see as responsible for ensuring ‘That food is easy to prepare’, by age, April 2013
                                                                                                    • Ensuring the provision of quality ingredients
                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Who do consumers see as responsible for ‘Providing quality ingredients’, by age and gender, April 2013
                                                                                                    • Ensuring that food is affordable
                                                                                                    • Factors Which Encourage Consumer Trust in Food

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • British ingredients and detailed labelling are most likely to establish trust
                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Factors that encourage consumer trust in food, April 2013
                                                                                                            • Figure 26: ‘Contains British ingredients’ and ‘Has manufacturing details on food labelling’ as factors which encourage consumer trust in food, by age, April 2013
                                                                                                          • Animal welfare certification is more widely seen as a trust factor than product origin information
                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Interest in selected trust factors, by presence of own children, April 2013
                                                                                                          • Detailed product origin resonates most among older and higher-income consumers
                                                                                                            • Brand trust: fewer than two in five adults trust a well-known brand
                                                                                                                • Figure 28: Factors which encourage consumer trust in food, 16-24s vs average, April 2013
                                                                                                              • Trust factors resonate among women more than men
                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Factors which encourage consumer trust in food, by gender, April 2013
                                                                                                            • Consumer – Target Groups

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Three target groups
                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Target groups, April 2013
                                                                                                                • Regulators (31%)
                                                                                                                  • Brand Bankers (32%)
                                                                                                                    • Traceability Trusters (37%)
                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Consumer Attitudes Towards the Food Industry

                                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Consumer attitudes towards the food industry, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Agreement with the statements ‘The food industry relies too much on mass manufacturing’ and ‘The food industry in general is well regulated by the Food Standards Agency’, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Agreement with the statements ‘The food industry provides food that is safe to eat’ and ‘Supermarkets/food manufacturers provide accurate labelling’, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Agreement with the statements ‘The food industry sources food responsibly’ and ‘Supermarkets care about British farmers’, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Agreement with the statements ‘Supermarkets are aware of where their ingredients originate from’ and ‘Food manufacturers are aware of where their ingredients originate from’, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Agreement with the statements ‘Supermarkets set fair prices for consumers’ and ‘Food manufacturers encourage people to eat healthily’, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Agreement with the statements ‘Different elements of the food supply chain all work effectively together’ and ‘The food industry is able to effectively react to food scares’, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Who Do Consumers See as Responsible for Selected Aspects of the Food Chain?

                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Who do consumers see as responsible for selected aspects of the food chain, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Who do consumers see as responsible for affordable food, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Who do consumers see as responsible for food being safe to eat, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Who do consumers see as responsible for food being healthy, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Who do consumers see as responsible for food production having minimum impact on the environment, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Who do consumers see as responsible for food being sourced from the UK as much as possible, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Who do consumers see as responsible for food being easy to prepare, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Who do consumers see as responsible for providing quality ingredients, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Who do consumers see as responsible for the UK food chain being as sustainable as possible, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Further Consumer Attitudes Towards the Food Industry

                                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Consumer attitudes towards the food industry, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Most popular consumer attitudes towards the food industry, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Next most popular consumer attitudes towards the food industry, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Factors Which Encourage Consumer Trust in Food

                                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Factors which encourage consumer trust in food, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 51: Most popular factors which encourage consumer trust in food, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Next most popular factors which encourage consumer trust in food, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Consumer – Target Groups

                                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Target groups, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 54: Consumer attitudes towards the food industry, by target groups, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Who do consumers see as responsible for selected aspects of the food chain, by target groups, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Factors which encourage consumer trust in food, by target groups, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 57: Agreement with consumer attitudes towards the food industry, by target groups, April 2013
                                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Cooking and eating habits, by demographics, May 2013

                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                                                    • Food Standards Agency
                                                                                                                    • HJ Heinz Company UK
                                                                                                                    • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                    • Kraft Foods Inc.
                                                                                                                    • McDonald's Restaurants Limited (UK)
                                                                                                                    • Tesco (UK)
                                                                                                                    • United Biscuits
                                                                                                                    • Waitrose
                                                                                                                    • Warburtons
                                                                                                                    • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                                                                                    Consumer Trust in Food - UK - June 2013

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