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Consumer 'food values' remain steady in spite of COVID-19

The factors that influence why we buy what we buy at the grocery have held mostly steady over the past 10 months, according to the latest data on consumer "food values" from the University of Illinois.

When you go to the grocery store, why do you buy what you buy? Are you most concerned with price, with a product’s taste or appearance, or are you more interested in its impact on your body and the environment? And has the importance you place on those attributes shifted over the past 10 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

In this episode we talk with a University of Illinois economist who recently published results of the latest survey into consumer food values and learn what has or hasn’t changed in the factors that drive food purchasing decisions for most consumers.

Brenna Ellison has been studying consumer behavior in the food retail space her entire career. There are many factors that influence our food purchasing decisions – taste, price, appearance, environmental impact, and so on. Researchers and marketers alike are interested in the weight we place on these different factors, also referred to as “food values”.

And while research has shown food values to be relatively stable over time, the Covid-19 pandemic has upended all that is normal. Ellison and her colleague Melissa Ocepek released the results of their latest consumer food values survey, showing that the underlying food values driving those purchases have remained largely stable despite the shifting economic realities of the past year.

This episode of Feedstuffs In Focus is sponsored by Arm & Hammer Animal and Food Production and their #ScienceHearted podcast, “Food Chain Chats.” Check it out to hear insights on how the food supply chain is taking their experiences from 2020 disruptions into 2021. Subscribe wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

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