Food safety a priority for manufacturers, consumers
Feb. 7, 2012
by Meat&Poultry Staff
NORTHBROOK, Ill. – In a new global study, food manufacturers identified product safety as a top business priority, but the majority of consumers believe food manufacturers can do even better to earn their confidence. The new study, "Navigating the Product Mindset," conducted by UL (Underwriters Laboratories), explores the connections and contradictions between perceptions of consumers and food manufacturers on issues of safety, innovation, performance and sustainability.
The study examined perceptions from consumers and manufacturers in China, India, Germany, and the US across industries in high tech, food, building materials and household chemicals.
"Food manufacturers understand that product safety is imperative to the success of their business, but a significant opportunity remains to better demonstrate and communicate their commitment to boost consumer confidence," said Hank Lambert, general manager of UL's Global Food and Water Businesses. "This research demonstrates the importance of moving existing food safety management to the next level."
Other key insights from the study include:
• Food manufacturers express confidence in their performance related to product safety, innovation, sustainability and reliability, but consumers feel food manufacturers can do a better job testing food products and fresh foods especially.
• Consumers' primary safety concerns for food products relate to contracting foodborne illness, exposure to unsafe chemical additives and unsanitary conditions.
• Food manufacturers agree that consumers are becoming more empowered. They value positive consumer claims on product quality and safety more than government endorsements.
• Even though manufacturers say it is their job to communicate product safety information to consumers, the majority of consumers find it difficult to locate that information.
• Manufacturers are more likely to hold the manufacturers that assemble the final product accountable for safety, but consumers feel it is more important to know the country of origin for each of the individual ingredients that constitute a food product rather than where the finished product is assembled.
UL is a global independent safety science company employing more than 9,000 people in 96 countries, with more than 117 years of history. Additional information about UL and the study may be found at www.UL.com.