Infomre concumidores confianza

A new study involving 19,642 consumers in 18 countries reveals that fewer and fewer consumers say they choose healthy and sustainable food, amid a climate of declining trust in the food sector.
According to the latest EIT Food Trust Report, now in its sixth edition, less than half (45%) of the European population say they trust food when it comes to taste, safety, wholesomeness, authenticity and sustainability of our food system.
The survey also showed that while consumers are mostly confident that the food they eat is safe (53%), they are sceptical about its sustainability and wholesomeness. Only one third (36%) of consumers believe that the food they eat is sustainable, while less than half (44%) consider it healthy.

Fewer consumers are making healthy and sustainable choices

This scepticism about sustainability could be the cause of consumers’ declining motivation to actively pursue a sustainable lifestyle. In 2020, around 8 out of 10 consumers (78%) stated that they intended to lead a sustainable lifestyle, but since then this figure has steadily decreased to 71%.
When it comes to food choices, the percentage is even lower: less than half of consumers (49%) say they consider the environmental impact of their diet when choosing what to eat. In 2020 and 2021, this figure was 51%; in 2022, 48%.
Consumers’ intention to eat healthily has also declined in recent years: 56% now say they try to eat healthily, compared to 60% in 2020 and 2021.

The study indicates that this scepticism and mistrust applies to food innovation, with only a third of consumers (34%) saying they are open to trying new food products. Younger consumers, however, are much more open to food innovation, with 44% of 18-34 year olds saying they are willing to try new products, compared to just 24% of the 55+ age group. This shows that the next generation could be much more receptive to new food products designed to create healthier and more sustainable diets.


Declining confidence in the food sector

The report reflects a decline in consumer confidence in the food sector in general, in terms of competition, transparency and attentiveness of food industry players such as farmers, manufacturers, authorities, restaurants and retailers.

Farmers remain the most trusted group in the food sector, with 65% of consumers saying so. However, this is a slight decrease from the previous year (67%), due to a decline in credibility in the competence of farmers. Two thirds (67%) of consumers now believe that farmers do their job well, down from 69% the previous year; however, this is still the highest score for a food sector group. Farmers also received the highest scores among all groups for being transparent (54%) and demonstrating that they care about consumers and act in the public interest (53%).

Retailers are the second most trusted group. Half (50%) of consumers say they trust them, down from 52% in 2022.

Restaurants and caterers scored 48%, down from 49% last year. While more than half of consumers agreed that restaurants and caterers did their job well (54%), consumers were less positive about how they showed concern for the public (44%) and how transparent they were when making and selling food (39%).

On the other hand, less than one in two respondents had confidence in food manufacturers or authorities (government bodies at national and European level). The report shows that only 46% and 45% of consumers report trusting food manufacturers and authorities respectively – down from 48% in 2021 – while 27% and 32% respectively actively distrust them.

Moreover, only 4 in 10 (38%) of consumers believe that food manufacturers take an interest in issues of concern to the public, while only 37% believe that they are transparent and honest when it comes to the production and sale of food.

The same is true for perceptions of authorities, with just over a third of consumers saying that authorities care and listen to what ordinary people think about food (38%) or that they are sufficiently transparent about how they regulate food production (37%).

You can read the full report here.