Grown in the USA!
Consumers like to see “green” claims such as natural, organic or sustainable on food labels, but “Grown in the USA” also is gaining popularity, according results of a recent survey.
Asked “Which is the best description to read on a food label,” some 17 percent of 1,013 consumers in the survey from Shelton Group said they wanted to see a ‘Grown in the USA’ label on the produce they buy. That was exceeded only by “100 percent natural” or “All natural,” at 25 percent; and “USDA Certified Organic” or “100 percent organic,” at 24 percent.
In a statement, Suzanne Shelton, president of Shelton Group, said the popularity of ‘Grown in the USA’ reflects three underlying trends.
“First, Americans are increasingly worried about food contamination, and they’re concerned about water treatment and crop fertilization in other countries. Second, there is growing support for family farms and local sourcing — a trend that’s gone mainstream in the last several years, including at Walmart,” said Ms. Shelton. “And finally, people are concerned about the economy and job losses, so buying ‘Grown in the USA’ is a away to help fellow Americans.”
The National Grocers Association’s 2011 Consumer Survey Report likewise found locally grown increasing in appeal. According to the trade group’s survey, the 38 percent who eat locally grown foods ‘moderately’ – between two and seven times per week—were just 33 percent in 2001 and 31 percent in 2009.
Some 86 percent of respondents called the presence of local foods ‘very important” or ‘somewhat important’ to store choice, up from 83 percent a year ago and 79 percent in 2009. More impressive, 45 percent considered it ‘very important,’ up from 41 percent in 2010.
At the extreme is the Eat Local Challenge, in which individuals and groups vow for a month to limit their choices to foods source within either a 100-, 150- or 250-mile radius. The movement, started in 2005 in Portland, has spread to cities across the nation.
According to the report on the movement in Nevada Appeal, the motivation for these “localvores” is not only seeking out higher quality food, improved taste and richer nutrition but supporting the local economy and smaller farmers and significantly reducing the carbon footprint involved in shipping foods from far-off places.
- Survey Finds ‘Grown in the USA’ Surging in Popularity, Right Behind ‘Natural’ and ‘Organic’ – Shelton Group
- National Grocers Association’s 2011 Consumer Survey Report – National Grocers Association
- Locavores embrace the 100-mile diet – Nevada Appeal
- Eat Local Challenge
Discussion Questions: How strong is the trend toward “Grown in the USA” and locally-grown movements? Do you think consumers are willing to pay a premium for locally grown or sourced foods or do they expect a discount?