Americans Lack Trust in and Knowledge of Food Industry, Finds New FoodThink White Paper

Mar 19, 2013, 19:10 ET from Sullivan Higdon & Sink

KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 6 out of 10 Americans have little knowledge about food production, according to a new white paper, "Building Trust in What We Eat," released today by Sullivan Higdon & Sink (SHS) FoodThink. In fact, FoodThink research shows Americans know more about movies, politics and music than what's on their plates. The white paper, based on a survey that polled 1,500 Americans about food perceptions, is designed for food marketers to better understand the consumer's lack of knowledge and trust in food production, and how that impacts food company perceptions.

As America's obesity epidemic and consumption concerns are increasingly top of mind for consumers, retailers and manufacturers alike, pressure is mounting on food producers to demonstrate product quality. SHS FoodThink's new white paper provides valuable insights into how food marketers can address current perceptions.

"Now is the time for manufacturers and producers to actively educate consumers and shift the dialogue from non-understanding and critique to one of building consumer confidence in the food they eat," said Erika Chance, FoodThink researcher.

One of the growing differentiators among food brands has become the manner in which the food was produced. Food production methods are showing up on packaging, forcing consumers to ask, "How much do I know about how my food is produced? How much do I trust the food industry when it comes to producing the food I eat?"

"It's critical for the food industry to move the knowledge needle from where it is now. It's unacceptable for only 19% of consumers to think food companies and manufacturers are trustworthy sources of food production information," said Chance.

SHS FoodThink offers four core strategies to fill the consumer trust and knowledge gap, including how to establish allies, utilize social media and build transparency about production practices. Find these and more by downloading a free copy of the 14-page white paper at

About Sullivan Higdon & Sink's FoodThink:

Sullivan Higdon & Sink is a full-service advertising and marketing agency that hates sheeplike communications, with offices in Kansas City, Wichita and Washington, D.C. One of SHS' core focus areas is food value chain marketing – promoting products all along the farm-to-table spectrum. In late 2012, SHS conducted its FoodThink research study, monitoring how consumers think about what we eat and America's relationship with food.

SOURCE Sullivan Higdon & Sink