Food Demand Survey (FooDS) - April 2015

The April 2015 edition of the Food Demand Survey (FooDS) is now out.  

Compared to last month, April witnessed reduction in willingness-to-pay for pork products and an increase in willingness-to-pay chicken products and for beef steak.  There was a 4% increase in stated expenditures on food away from home.

There was a spike in stated awareness of and concern for bird flu, an issue that has been much in the news in past weeks.  There was a fall in awareness of and concern for GMOs in April compared to March.

We added three ad hoc questions in response to suggestions by followers of FooDS.  The first two questions dealt with knowledge and concern regarding Bisphenol A (BPA).

We first asked, “Which of the following is true about Bisphenol A (BPA)?”

Overall, respondent's didn't seem to know much about BPA.  For each item, the majority of respondents answered “I don’t know”. The most believed statement (a factually true statement), with 34.8% of respondents answering “true”, is that BPA is used to make plastics. The least believed statement (a factually false statement), with 19.15% of respondents answering “false”, is that BPA is a fertilizer. 

Then, on the next page, we asked, "Relative to the other issues we previously asked about, how concerned are you that BPA poses a health hazard in the food you eat?” The modal response, with 37.64% of respondents, was “neither unconcerned or concerned” that BPA would pose a health threat. 39% stated they were either somewhat or very concerned. The average level of concern on a five-point scale was 3.19, which would place BPA concern below concerns over E. Coli, Salmonella, Hormones, Farm Animal Welfare, Antibiotics, and GMOs but above concerns over Bird Flu, Mad cow, Swine Flu, Pink Slime, and Greenhouse Gases.

Finally, the last ad hoc question shifted gears and asked respondents to indicate their beliefs about McDonald's vs. Chipotle.   We asked, “Which of the following companies do you think best fits each of the following descriptions?”

Over half of the respondents stated that McDonald's is more profitable, more convenient, and
more affordable. 61% of respondents stated that Chipotle is higher in quality and 58.42% stated they sell fresher food. Approximately one third of participants responded saying they did not know who was more socially responsible, Chipotle or McDonalds.