The Consumer Food Insights Report recently released information assessing food security, spending habits, consumer satisfaction, values, agricultural and food policies support, and trust in information sources.

Experts conducted and evaluated the survey, which included 1,200 consumers across the U.S., and they discovered the following:

  • 25% of respondents were unable to find a specific food product at the grocery store.
  • 32% of respondents are waiting for their next paycheck to buy groceries.
  • 16% of respondents face food insecurity.
  • 51% of respondents blame COVID-related shutdowns for the rise in meat prices.
  • A Sustainable Food Purchasing (SFP) Index of 67/100.

"We are taking a pulse of consumers to help guide farmers and retailers along the food supply chain as we adapt to changing circumstances. Consumers significantly influence the direction of food and agricultural systems, and we need a way to track trends in what people are buying and eating and how this is affected by events like inflation, climate change, and COVID-19," said Jayson Lusk, head and Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics. 

Sam Polzin, a food and agriculture survey scientist for the center and co-author of the report, said the goal is to create a useful public resource because informed decisions are the only way we can build a better and more sustainable food system.

"We also are covering new territory, like examining sustainability as a factor in food purchases and establishing baselines in certain areas," said Sam Polzin.

Additionally, the Consumer Food Insights Report now includes a new Sustainable Food Purchasing Index, offering insight into how sustainability and health relate to consumer behaviors.

"We're looking at whether or not people are purchasing foods that align with different areas of sustainability. We want to gauge consumer interest in this, as well as track changes over time and in response to outside factors, like climate change-related events," - Sam Polzin.