NPD Group: Food and Beverage Recalls & Outbreaks Have Little Effect on Confidence in U.S. Food Supply
But apparently not, according to market research firm The NPD Group.
The company’s Food Safety Monitor, which continuously tracks consumer awareness and concern about food safety issues on a bi-weekly basis, found that between January and August 2012:
- 60 percent of consumers were only somewhat or slightly concerned about the safety of the U.S. food supply;
- 25 percent were extremely or very concerned; and
- 15 percent were not concerned at all.
So why aren’t news stories about illness outbreaks and food recalls not causing consumers more concern?
What the Numbers Actually Mean
While the survey did identify fluctuations in the percentages of consumers concerned about the safety of the food supply based on whether or not there was a food safety issue in the news at that time, concern levels in 2012 overall are on par with previous years.
The NPD Group gives an example of specific outbreaks and product recalls associated with Listeria monocytogenes contamination that developed over this past summer. During that time, awareness of and concern about Listeria peaked in the first days of media coverage and then leveled off when news activity started to subside.
The Underlying Recall Management Lesson
The fluctuation in consumer concern over a specific type of bacteria during a highly publicized illness outbreak or food recall is to be expected.
In order to curb the amount of anxiety felt by consumers about a particular type of product, food and beverage manufacturers and producers must properly respond to the crisis at hand. I recently wrote an article for Food Manufacturing on this topic and referenced ways in which businesses can restore consumer confidence through effectively managing a recall event.
Successful recall management is essential to ensuring consumers remain loyal to your brand. No matter the affected product or whether or not it causes a foodborne illness outbreak, any business can expect to face public scrutiny if it fails to effectively notify the public and provide an adequate remedy in an efficient manner.
Are you surprised by the NPD Group’s findings? How concerned are you about the safety of the U.S. food supply? We welcome your thoughts below.
Stericycle ExpertRECALL™ is the industry leader in recall logistics and regulatory compliance for consumer product, pharmaceutical, medical device, juvenile product, and food and beverage recalls. ExpertRECALL’s professionals are experts in recall management who can help you streamline the entire product recall process.