Survey: ‘Sustainable,’ ‘Plant-Based’ are Confusing

June 6, 2019
Consumers want “sustainable” food but are all over the map as to exactly what that means.

Consumers want “sustainable” food but are all over the map as to exactly what that means, according to the latest consumer survey from the International Food Information Council.

IFIC’s 2019 Food & Health Survey is based on an online poll of 1,012 Americans this spring. “Environmental sustainability” was very or somewhat important to 54% of respondents. Asked what makes for sustainability, 51% chose “locally grown,” 48% said “sustainably sourced” and “not bioengineered,” 43% said “organic” and 41% said “recyclable packaging.”

Apparently many consumers find the situation frustrating. The same percentage, 63%, agreed both that it’s hard to know whether food choices are sustainable, and that if it were easier to know, it would have a greater impact on their food choices.

Another point of confusion was what constitutes a “plant-based diet.” A plurality, at 32%, went for full vegan; the next most popular option, at 30%, was “a diet that emphasizes minimally-processed foods that come from plants, with limited consumption of animal meat, eggs, and dairy.” A vegetarian (no-meat) diet was chosen by 19%, while 7% went for “a diet in which you try to get as many fruits and vegetables as possible, with no limit on consuming animal meat, eggs, and dairy.”

Sponsored Recommendations

Learn About: Micro Motion™ 4700 Config I/O Coriolis Transmitter

An Advanced Transmitter that Expands Connectivity

Micro Motion™ G-Series Coriolis Flow and Density Meter

Micro Motion G-Series: market-leading compact design featuring advanced process diagnostic capability.

Embracing Sustainability using Advanced Measurement Instrumentation

A practical guide to greeningyour brewing operationsusing advanced measurementinstrumentation.

Get Hands-On Training in Emerson's Interactive Plant Environment

Enhance the training experience and increase retention by training hands-on in Emerson's Interactive Plant Environment. Build skills here so you have them where and when it matters...