New research from Kemin Industries shows that the majority of grocery shoppers read ingredient labels before making meat purchases at least sometimes. The study, conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Kemin and scheduled to be highlighted at this year’s IFT Food Expo in New Orleans, investigates how certain preservatives found in processed meats can influence consumer purchase decisions.
Preservatives are necessary to keep ready-to-eat (RTE) meat and poultry products safe from foodborne pathogens. With a number of preservatives available, manufacturers must consider effectiveness, usage levels and consumer preferences when selecting ingredients to protect the integrity of their formulations and meet consumer desires.
The online survey of 1,004 U.S. adults, 18 and older (claiming to be the primary grocery shopper for their household), conducted in April 2014, found that 81 percent of grocery shoppers commonly turn to the refrigerated section and 46 percent commonly turn to the deli/meat counter of their favorite grocery store when purchasing meat or meat products for their families. In addition, 86 percent of consumers read the ingredient label always or sometimes when making these purchases and 34 percent always read the label. The largest health-related motivators for reading labels were diabetes/blood sugar, hypertension/heart disease and cholesterol. However, these health concerns may relate to common ingredients of avoidance such as sugar, sodium or fat.
“This research reveals that ingredient labeling and consumer perception is an important factor when it comes to purchase decisions,” said Brittany Bailey, product manager for the food technologies division of Kemin. “We are committed to providing the industry with ingredients backed by science that improve the safety and quality of food, and it is our hope that this study will provide value to manufacturers and industry leaders working to produce safe and nutritious food that meet consumer demands.”