WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – More Iowan grocery shoppers are paying attention to food labels (82%) than in 2013 (68%), but price and taste still drive their food buying decisions at the grocery store, according to the latest Iowa Farm Bureau Food and Farm Index conducted online for the IFBF by Harris Poll. Nearly 4 in 5 Iowan grocery shoppers say price is a driving factor for meat and poultry products (78%), followed closely by taste (74%) and more distantly by nutrition (43%) and food safety (42%).
As Iowan grocery shoppers kick off the summer grilling season and celebrate National Beef Month, the Iowa Farm Bureau Food and Farm Index also shows that 4 in 5 (84%) eat beef at least weekly.
The Iowa Farm Bureau Food & Farm Index is a semi-annual survey of Iowan grocery shoppers to identify the factors driving their food purchases. The survey included Iowa residents between 20 and 60 years old who have primary or shared responsibility for household grocery shopping; 506 such respondents were interviewed online for this latest wave of research.
While the Index shows a 14 percentage point increase in Iowan grocery shoppers paying attention to labels over 2013, price still matters with 3 in 5 Iowans saying they would not pay more for beef products with an ‘antibiotic free’ label if it costs significantly more.
Safety is on the minds of Iowan grocery shoppers reading labels, with half thinking a ‘raised hormone free’ or ‘raised antibiotic free’ label means the food choice is safer, while a ‘raised in the U.S.’ label seems safer to 44 percent of Iowan grocery shoppers and 37 percent think ‘raised organically’ labels mean a product is safer.
However, shoppers also noted that having additional facts about labels can help alleviate their concern. For example, of the Iowan grocery shoppers who had concerns about ‘antibiotic-free labels,’ 76 percent stated that additional facts would help alleviate their concern about antibiotic use in livestock.