The latest edition of the Food Demand Survey (FooDS) is now out.
We saw falls in consumer willingness-to-pay (WTP) for beef and pork products this month, and a slight uptick in WTP for chicken. Expected prices and spending patterns remained similar to last month.
Concern for all food issues rose, notably for bird flu and swine flu. Consumers noticed fewer stories about GMOs in the news this month compared to last.
We also added three new ad hoc questions this month.
The first question asked: “Do you support or oppose the following government policies?”
86.5% of respondents support mandatory country of origin labels for meat. A large majority (82%) support mandatory labels on GMOs, but curiously about the same amount (80%) also support mandatory labels on foods containing DNA. The least popular policies were bans on transfats, bans on sales of marijuana, and a tax on sugared sodas. Only about 39% of respondents supported a sugared soda tax.
Secondly, participants were asked “Did you read any books about food and agriculture in the past year?” Just over 16% of participants stated that they had read a book related to food and agriculture in the past year. About 81% answered “No”, and 3% answered “I don’t know”.
Those who answered “Yes” were asked: “What is the title of the most recent book you read about food and agriculture?” The vast majority of responses were of the form “I don’t remember” or “cannot recall”. Fast Food Nation, Food Inc., and Omnivore’s Dilemma were each mentioned about three times. The Farmer’s Almanac and Skinny Bitch were mentioned twice. One respondent mentioned the bible.
Addendum: Given the interest in this survey, I've added a subsequent post with more detail and discussion.