Food Demand Survey (FooDS) - February 2016

The February 2016 edition of the Food Demand Survey (FooDS) is now out.

A few highlights:

  • Willingness-to-Pay for most meat products was relatively steady except for an increase in WTP for ground beef and pork chops and a decrease for chicken wings (note: the timing of the survey fell after the Super Bowl weekend).
  • There was a large change in price expectations.  Consumers expect lower meat prices than they did a month ago.  In fact the expectations are as low as they've been since the survey started in May 2013.   
  • There was an increase in awareness of bird flu in the media over the past couple weeks.
  • There was lower concern expressed about both "pink slime" and "lean finely textured beef."

Several new ad hoc questions were added to the survey this month. Some questions related to GMO safety beliefs, and how they varied with the ability of consumers to express uncertainty.  There's a lot to discuss on that topic, so these questions will be discussed separately.

The other ad hoc question was added for a bit of fun.  Given the busy election season, we asked respondents, “Who do you plan to vote for in the presidential primary election?” A list of 16 options was then provided.

The majority of respondents replied “I don’t know”. Donald Trump (R) and Hilary Clinton (D) were the two candidates with the most planned votes, followed closely by Bernie Sanders and “I do not plan to vote.” After Trump, all other listed Republican candidates garnered a cumulative 16% of the anticipated vote.

Out of curiosity , we took a look at how some of the answers to other survey questions varied with anticipated presidential voting (recognizing of course that the sample sizes are relatively small for each candidate, and thus the margins of errors wide).

Donald Trump supporters had the highest concern for E. Coli and placed the lowest relative importance on the food values of naturalness and the environment; Trump supporters were the biggest beef, pork, and overall meat eaters (but ate the least chicken breast). Sanders supporters eat the least beef, pork, and total meat.

Clinton and Sanders supporters placed the least relative importance on food prices. Clinton supporters were the most concerned about GMOs, and placed the highest relative importance on naturalness, nutrition, and environment when buying food.