July 7/Knoxville/Knoxville News Sentinel -- U.S. consumers’ food tastes continue to evolve, according to a newly released survey that reveals Americans most want to see “Natural,” “Organic” or “Grown in the USA” product labels on their food.

When asked “Which is the best description to read on a food label,” 25% of consumers said “100% natural” or “All natural,” according to the survey, called Eco Pulse, which was conducted by Knoxville advertising and research firm Shelton Group.

Another 24% said “USDA Certified Organic” or “100% organic, and 17% said they preferred “Grown in the USA.”

“This looks baffling on the surface, because we Americans like our bananas, oranges, and strawberries year-round. We’re used to eating fresh fruits and vegetables grown out of season, including some that can’t even be grown in the U.S.,” said Suzanne Shelton, president of Shelton Group, which focuses on marketing green products to U.S. consumers.

Shelton also cited the fact Americans increasingly are worried about food contamination, water treatment and crop fertilization in other countries. She also pointed to a growing trend of support for family farms and local sourcing.

Other findings in the Eco Pulse survey, which was conducted by Shelton Group researchers who polled 1,013 U.S. consumers, include responses on recycling and sustainability

The Shelton Group survey found more than 60% of Americans say they regularly recycle but continue to be concerned about convenience and the need for more curbside service.

Also, the number of consumers searching for greener products has increased in the past two years. Nearly 70% say they search for sustainable products, but only 23% consistently buy green products across many product categories like natural foods, green house-cleaning products or energy-efficient appliances because of their higher costs. And 71% of Americans say green products usually or always cost more.

 

From the July 7, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.