Food habits and popular belief

SIAL Paris 2016Which products make the Chinese salivate? What makes Qataris, Malaysians or Spaniards buy one food product and not another? Which is more important to American or French consumers: organic produce or online sales? Published by SIAL, the Food 360 report gives you all the facts, and answers to these questions and many more. While we wait for its release in early September, here are some extracts to whet your appetite…

▪   Homemade produce – a lot of noise in the media about a marginal trend: False

The success of the “I grew this myself” movement is official… In south-east Asia (84 per cent) and the Middle East (55 per cent), over half of consumers eat self-produced food. And the trend is developing throughout the world, except in Russia where home-grown produce is already a cultural norm. Europe is slightly behind in this area, but France stands out with almost one in two consumers cultivating their own fruit, vegetables and herbs.

Thanks to the SIAL network – notably with Prêt à Pousser (ready to grow)/SIAL Paris 2014 and Aquaponics systems/SIAL Interfood Jakarta – SIAL Paris has been able to detect the movement’s pioneering products and services, helping consumers produce their own food.

▪   Sustainable development has become an important purchase criterion: False

Sustainable development is a concern for almost everybody. A vast majority of consumers would like to fight against food waste (89 per cent), and animal welfare is seen as necessary (77 per cent). There is a difference between what is said and what is done however: Of the fifteen chief criteria involved in choosing products, environmental impact is the least important in the Middle East. In France, China and Britain, it’s only a little more significant, in 14th place. At the top of the list are the following trends: enjoyment, health and convenience. Concern for sustainable development is considered an additional guarantee – which undoubtedly explains why the supply of these products is still limited.

▪   New products, yes – but within reason: True

Germany aside, a vast majority of consumers are hungry for new products. The most curious are the Middle Eastern populations (71 per cent), followed closely by the French (64 per cent) and the Spanish (63 per cent). Most food lovers are looking for original flavours, new textures or unexpected colours, but they’re reluctant to buy products that are not anchored in their own culture, no matter how great the “buzz”. If almost all Asians have eaten seaweed-based products and one Chinese person in three consumes insects, very few people in France have done the same (32 and 14 per cent respectively).

▪   The Web influences what goes onto consumers’ plates in 2016? False but…

Consumers tend to use online services when it comes to tourism/travelling (54 per cent) or automotive industry (45 per cent).However, in the food and beverage world, that figure drops to 26 per cent. The use of online food retailers is much more prevalent in China (86 per cent) and South-East Asia (76 per cent) than in Germany (30 per cent) or France (44 per cent).

▪   The 3 winners: local, well-labelled products, “without” pesticides or antibiotics? True

If Anglo-Saxon countries like Britain don’t feel particularly concerned by pesticide- or antibiotic-free produce (59 and 53 per cent respectively), the trend is very pronounced in South-East Asia (93 and 80 per cent) where people are aware of diet-caused health issues and worry about where their food is from (82 per cent). The same can be said of France (83, 79 and 68 per cent). Around six out of 10 consumers also prefer buying local produce; however, the British (44 per cent) are less concerned with this than the French (62 per cent). As more and more people want to eat healthily, there’s a call to trace the origins of foodstuffs through transparent labelling.

About the survey

Carried out for SIAL by TNS Sofres, the exclusive survey (which includes an examination of the XTC World Innovation database), provides a clear picture of the tastes and desires of consumers in nine European countries, in North America, in the Middle East and in Asia. It also debunks certain received ideas and shows that development opportunities for food companies are as real today as they are numerous.

The whole study will be revealed on 6 September 2016.

TNS Sofres Food 3602016 was carried out ​​online in France, Spain, Germany, Great Britain and the USA. Russia: cities of over 100 000 inhabitants. China: 1st, 2nd and 3rd-tier cities. Southeast Asia: urban areas of Indonesia and Malaysia. Middle East: urban areas of the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Depending on the country, ± 500 samples of individuals aged 18 and older or 18-55 years (representative of quotas in terms of gender, age, region and socio-economic categories). Interviews conducted online from March 25 to April 22, 2016.



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