Latest American food purchasing & eating habits uncovered

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 5th September 2016

Taste, price and health are the biggest drivers behind food purchasing decisions for most Americans says new data from the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFICF).

According to the IFICF’s 2016 Food and Health Survey, a growing number of Americans are purchasing food because it is labelled as a sustainable option, 41 per cent in 2016, compared to 35 per cent in 2015.

Labelling information matters

Results from the 2016 Food and Health showed that certain labelling information mattered to Americans more than others. For example:

  • Seven in ten respondents say the expiry date guides their purchasing decision
  • Almost half look at nutrition panels
  • Almost half look at the ingredients list
  • Brand name is important for 25 per cent of shoppers
  • Cooking instructions and preparation time accounts for 37 per cent
  • More than half of Americans seek out nutritional value information when eating out at restaurants
  • More than half have noticed nutrition information on restaurant menus and use it at least occasionally.
  • Only a quarter have not seen this type of information at all

Dietary components are increasingly more important

  • Almost two-thirds of Americans are actively trying consume protein, more than in 2015 when only 54 per cent of Americans said they were trying to eat protein
  • Approximately 60 per cent of Americans are looking for fibre in their food and beverages
  • Four in ten Americans say they are trying to limit or avoid saturated fats
  • Fewer Americans are considering low-calorie sweeteners as a healthy alternative to sugar. One in ten however reported that they are trying to consume foods and beverage containing low-calorie sweeteners
  • One third of American are trying to consume probiotics

Sustainability issues growing

  • One third of Americans say they buy foods because they are labelled “natural” or “no added hormones or steroids”.
  • Three in ten Americans buy foods labelled as “locally sourced”
  • A quarter of Americans choose restaurants because they advertise their food as “natural” or locally sourced”