Consumer Attitudes to Food Survey published

Thursday 22 February 2007

Healthy eating is a key concern for consumers, according to the Agency’s seventh UK-wide Consumer Attitudes to Food Survey, which is published today. It finds that there is a significant increase in awareness of the ‘5-a-day’ message and many people check labels for nutritional information on a regular basis.

A total of 3,513 face-to-face interviews were conducted for the survey between August and October 2006.

The 2006 survey highlights a number of diet and health trends that have emerged since 2000, including:
  • A significant yearly increase in the number of consumers who are aware that they should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. Almost an additional third of consumers are now aware that they should eat at least 5-a-day compared with 2000.
  • As in previous years, the amount of fat, salt and sugar in food continues to be key issues of concern for consumers. Salt was mentioned by over half of the UK sample, and fat and sugar each by more than two fifths of respondents, when prompted with a list of possible concerns.
  • A growing number of consumers say they look at nutritional information on food labels to check the fat and salt content when purchasing products for the first time.
  • Almost half of people claim to be trying to increase their consumption of fresh fruit. Almost two fifths were trying to increase the amount of vegetables they eat, and almost a quarter of consumers were trying to up their consumption of salads.
  • Three fifths of those interviewed agreed that they would like to have more information about the food that they buy, with almost half saying that they find it difficult to know if a product is healthy from the label.
  • Two fifths of people who said they snacked in between meals, claimed to have snacked on fresh fruit. However, almost a third snacked on biscuits/cakes and a further fifth on crisps/savoury snacks.

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