New global consumer research from EAT-GlobeScan on healthy and sustainable food systems

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Affordability and availability are the greatest challenges for a healthy and sustainable diet

Oslo, Norway, September 23, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Only half of people worldwide (53%) find it easy to buy healthy and sustainable food, according to a new global consumer survey by GlobeScan, an insights and strategy consultancy, and EAT, the science-based nonprofit for the global transformation of the food system. However, the biggest barriers facing those struggling to buy healthy and sustainable food are affordability (48%) and availability (36%). A quarter of those surveyed say they do not know what healthy and sustainable food is.

The results of this new report, Grains of truth, Check out over 30,000 consumers in 31 markets around the world on their definition of good, healthy and sustainable food. The survey also asked people about other topics, including their top concerns about food production and the challenges they face when buying healthy and sustainable food, as well as who has the greatest positive impact on creating a healthier one and a more sustainable food system. This research was conducted as part of the activities surrounding the United Nations Food Systems Summit, where EAT led Action Path 2, which focuses on shifting consumption towards sustainable patterns.

While many people struggle to understand what healthy and sustainable foods are, there is also an understanding that the two terms have different meanings. The most popular descriptions for healthy foods are nutritious (47%), organic (47%), and unprocessed / whole (44%). In the case of sustainable food, the top three descriptions are good for the environment (51%), organic (42%) and locally grown (34%).

Different generations have similar views on sustainable food, but there are differences when it comes to healthy food. Gen Z is most likely to describe healthy food as tasty and nutritious, while baby boomers associate it with unprocessed / whole and locally grown foods.

Looking at some of the food system problems, the top two concerns are the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers (81%) and single-use plastic waste from food packaging (78%). Followed closely by hunger and obesity, with 76 percent of respondents saying they are worried about both problems. Supporting these concerns is the fact that one in 11 people is chronically hungry and one third of the world’s population is overweight. The subject of least concern for people is the transportation of food.

Surprisingly, concern about each of the issues increases with age, with Generation Z on average being the least concerned and baby boomers being the most concerned. From a regional perspective, consumers are in Latin America, Africa, and Southern Europe express the greatest concerns about the food system.

Almost half of consumers (46%) believe that the responsibility for making positive change for a healthier and more sustainable food system rests with national governments. More than a third (37%) believe food and beverage companies are best placed to do this.

Dr. Gunhild Stordalen, Founder and Executive Chairman of EAT, said, “There is much to be encouraged in this research – as people around the world understand the important role they can play in transforming food systems through their own consumption patterns in which both governments and food manufacturers alike Have to work – it is these actors that consumers see as rulers and consequently they will not listen to them believe they can because they think product prices are either too high or difficult to find. This is what policymakers, retailers and manufacturers need to work on and improve so that we can all work together on healthier consumer behavior. ”

Chris Coulter, GlobeScan CEO, said, “This latest study provides a roadmap for consumer expectations for a sustainable food system. Evidence of environmental integrity is an important contributor to sustainable food for people around the world, and there are very many concerns about a number of issues. Effects on the food system, from pesticide use to plastics to obesity and impacts on nature. In addition, consumers hold governments and businesses particularly accountable for providing sustainable food systems, making the UN Food Systems Summit an important opportunity to demonstrate progress to people around the world. “

The publication of this research paper is part of the preparation for the United Nations Food System Summit on Sept.approx from September 2021.

To download a copy of the full report, please click here.

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