United Soybean Board finds consumers know beans
|USB's study showed increases in consumer awareness of soy's high protein content and ability to lower the risk of heart disease.|
Consistent with the value placed on nutrition, 87 percent of consumers consider the Nutrition Facts Label as important when deciding which foods to buy, yet 52 percent of respondents report that the nutrition label is too confusing. The good news, however, is that figure represents a four-point drop versus last year.
While consumers are becoming savvier about nutrition labeling, more than one-half of consumers are still confused about the role fat plays in the diet:
- Eighty-eight percent of consumers correctly reported saturated fats as unhealthy, but many remain unaware that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are necessary for healthy bodily function.
- An increase in consumers surveyed (52 percent) correctly reported omega-3 fatty acids as a healthy part of their diet, up four points from last year.
- In comparing trans fatty acids to saturated fats, significantly fewer consumers incorrectly believe trans fatty acids are healthier than saturated fats (down 40 to 33 percent), while 28 percent perceive that saturated fats are healthier.
- Due to its content of lower fat and no cholesterol, consumers (88 percent) continue to recognize soybean oil as one of the top two healthiest oils, second only to olive oil.
Of those who perceive soy as healthy, 26 percent seek out products that specifically contain soy. A new question to this year's survey reveals that one in five consumers would order soy products in restaurants if they were available, with veggie burgers the most popular item (33 percent), followed by tofu (26 percent) and soymilk (22 percent). More than one quarter of Americans (27 percent) consume soyfoods or beverages once a week or more. Consumers who use soy products once a month or more (16 percent) do so mainly at dinner (40 percent) followed by breakfast (27 percent) and lunch (23 percent). Breakfast consumption increased the most since 2004, up three points from 24 to 27.
USB's 12th Annual Consumer Attitudes about Nutrition survey was conducted by an independent research firm. The study includes 1,000 random telephone interviews, providing a sample that is consistent with the American population. The margin of error is +/- 1.9 to 3.1 percent and has a confidence level of 95 percent.
The United Soybean Board is a farmer-led organization comprised of 64 farmer-directors. USB oversees the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. For more soy health information, visit www.talksoy.com.