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Food Fright: Ingredient Concerns Hurting Consumer Taste Buds

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With consumer fears escalating about potentially harmful ingredients in food and personal care products, and the push towards ingredient transparency, a new survey from Daymon Worldwide reveals that 40 percent of consumers have lost enjoyment of the foods they eat due to safety and quality concerns.

Among the key findings were: 

  • 53 percent of respondents said their heightened fears are driving greater demand for food and personal care products with fewer ingredients and stricter safety guidelines. 
  • Many are actively seeking stores that offer product alternatives. 
  • Huge opportunities exist for retailers ready to leverage their private brands to meaningfully connect with core consumers making purchase decisions based on ingredient fears. The study found that only 22 percent of consumers believe national brands to be healthier than private brands.

Janet Oak, Daymon Worldwide’s head of global advisory & custom shopper insights, said: “Not surprisingly, consumers are most concerned about ingredients that might cause cancer, such as pesticides, fertilizers and unnecessary additives and preservatives. To avoid risk, consumers are much more likely to visit a grocery retailer or a farmers' market than a mass merchandiser, and are even more willing to make things from scratch.”

Interestingly, the findings didn't only concern the food supply.

“The ingredients considered most negative by consumers are actually in many of the personal care products currently on the market,” said Oak. “For example, lead is present in a variety of cosmetics like eyeliners, mascara and lipstick. Pesticides may be in lip gloss, fragrances, soaps, shampoos and really any product with plant-derived ingredients.”

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