The Checkout

Recalls Drive Away Customers for at Least Nine Months

Annys Shin

The consulting firm Deloitte released its annual Food & Product Safety Survey today and it's not great news for the fresh produce industry.

Deloitte surveyed consumers nationwide about their perceptions about the safety of the U.S. food suppy and consumer products, specifically fresh produce, consumer electronics, toys, and packaged food and beverages.

Here's what Deloitte found:

  • More than half of consumers (58 percent) who heard about product safety and/or quality problems changed their buying habits, turning away from such products for more than nine months, on average.

  • Changes in buying habits were most common for fresh food and packaged food/beverage products. Roughly half (49 percent) said they were extremely concerned about product safety, with the greatest concerns coming from women (53 percent) and consumers 55 years of age and older (56 percent).

  • There is a wide awareness about product safety and quality problems, and more than half of respondents (54 percent) said they were more concerned about the safety of fresh food products than they were a year ago .

  • Roughly two-thirds of consumers surveyed (65 percent) were extremely concerned about the safety of products produced outside the United States, with the greatest apprehension coming from older consumers.

  • Consumers surveyed indicated they would like more information about the safety of food products provided on packaging (86 percent), company Web sites (81 percent) and by the government (81 percent).
  • And 67 percent said that food product labels with country of origin labeling, certification of product testing and certification of quality testing would be extremely important in their buying decisions.

How much do these findings jibe with your own feelings?

By Annys Shin |  October 29, 2008; 1:54 PM ET Annys Shin
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