Consumer Food Safety Fears Continue To Grow
Food safety fears have moved to the front of the checkout line as well over half of Americans (57 percent) say they have actually stopped eating a particular food, temporarily or permanently, as a result of a recent recall, according to a new survey by Deloitte Consulting LLP, New York.
These findings underscore how urgent it is for food manufacturers to do all they can to address the problem of food recalls head-on," says Pat Conroy, Deloitte's vice chairman and U.S. consumer products practice leader.
"The results of the survey indicate that over half of today's consumers may drop your product if they believe you are not doing what it takes to protect them and their families. Food manufacturers may consider taking a total approach to ensure the safety of their brands, all the way from the farm, to the supply chain, the store shelves and even the consumer's pantry."
Among the findings:
• Over half of Americans (56 percent) say they think imported foods are "not at all" or only "somewhat" safe;
• In contrast, 80 percent of Americans say they believe that domestically produced foods are safe;
• Fully one-third (33 percent) say they think fresh fish is "not at all" or "somewhat" safe;
• Three-fourths of Americans (73 percent) believe the number of food-related recalls has increased in the past year;
• An even higher percentage (76 percent) is more concerned about the foods they eat than they were five years ago;
• Concerns are especially high around recalls of meat products, with 78 percent of consumers most concerned by beef recalls (78 percent) followed by chicken recalls (67 percent);
• Nearly nine out of 10 Americans (89 percent) would like to see food stores sell more fruits and vegetables that come from local farms, and well over two-thirds (69 percent) said they would pay slightly more for such produce.
"In today's environment, consumers are seeking fresher ingredients, giving locally grown food providers an important advantage they haven't really had in the past," says Conroy. "If food safety concerns continue to grow, consumers may be increasingly likely to shop outside the grocery store for fresh meats, produce and dairy products."
External Integration Still Lacking Among Businesses
External integration among companies and their suppliers is still lacking, according to a recent survey conducted by GXS, Gaithersburg, MD.
Ninety-five percent of the survey's respondents reported they trade electronically with less than half of their customer base. In addition, 61 percent indicated that they trade electronically with less than 10 percent of their suppliers. The findings demonstrate an opportunity for further growth and deployment of external B2B integration initiatives.
GXS recently announced its SAP Certified Integration status for GXS Trading Grid, the goal of which is to ease the integration of customers' external business partner transactions with their internal enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. More than half of the 60 respondents reported that they are planning to upgrade or consolidate their SAP solution-based systems, demonstrating the greater emphasis placed on internal integration projects, despite the additional cost savings, customer satisfaction and supply chain efficiency benefits to be gained through electronic B2B integration.
Key findings from the survey include:
• 73 percent of respondents trade electronically with less than 30 percent of their supplier base;
• 72 percent trade electronically with less than 30 percent of their customer base;
• 55 percent trade electronically with less than 10 percent of their customer base; and
• 37 percent identified 'improving B2B integration capabilities' as a top priority for their supply chain.