For New Yorkers, food knowledge means social status. According to a new survey of New York area consumers released by the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), 54 percent of New Yorkers believe that being knowledgeable about food is a social status symbol. The survey, released in conjunction with The Food Dialogues: New York, found that New Yorkers in general were less informed about how food is grown and raised. However, they indicated that if they could prioritize it, they would be more passionate about learning more about food than consumers elsewhere in the country.
"New Yorkers especially have an interest in gaining more knowledge about how their food is grown and raised, so we've brought the Food Dialogues to the Big Apple," said Bob Stallman, chairman of USFRA and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. "We feel that it is critical to hold this valuable discussion, bringing New Yorkers together with America's farmers and ranchers to talk about tough issues and about improving how food is grown and raised."
New Yorkers Less Informed about Food Production but Strive to Learn More
In a city known for its serious eats, it's no surprise that New Yorkers care about their food. But the USFRA survey results reveal that New Yorkers in particular are less informed about how food is grown and raised than Americans overall – with just half reporting they feel at least somewhat knowledgeable about food production (53 percent), compared to 62 percent of Americans overall. Yet, New Yorkers have a serious desire to learn more about how their food is grown and raised. In fact, 68 percent of New Yorkers would like to know more about how food is grown and raised, but they just don't have the time or money to prioritize it, compared to 59 percent of Americans overall who share that sentiment. When asked what type of information they want to learn more about, New Yorkers said the use of inputs for crops such as pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers (37 percent) and the use of antibiotics in farm animals (31 percent).
New Yorkers More Skeptical about Their Food
The survey found that New Yorkers are less likely than Americans overall to say that food production heading in the right direction (44 percent versus 53 percent). They were also less likely than Americans overall to believe farmers and ranchers are committed to improving how food is grown and raised. Further, more than half of New Yorkers do not believe that 95 percent of all farms are in fact family owned1.
Factors When Making Decisions About Food
- In addition to learning how New Yorkers perceive food production, the survey also revealed what and who influences their purchasing decisions, whether at the grocery store or while dining out. New Yorkers are mindful of how food is grown and raised when grocery shopping; however, New Yorkers are more than twice as likely to value taste when choosing a restaurant versus shopping for groceries. Additionally: New Yorkers are more likely to report that how food is grown and raised will impact their purchase decision in the grocery stores (87 percent) compared to when dining out (78 percent).
- When it comes to dining out, New Yorkers prioritize quality (58 percent), taste (37 percent) and cost (32 percent).
- When it comes to purchasing groceries, New Yorkers prioritize quality (49 percent), cost (39 percent) and healthiness/nutrition (23 percent) – whereas Americans overall prioritize cost (47 percent).
The survey findings were released by USFRA in conjunction with The Food Dialogues: New York. This event is taking place on November 15 at The TimesCenter in Midtown Manhattan from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. This event will also stream live online at www.fooddialogues.com . For additional information about the surveys released today, USFRA and The Food Dialogues: New York, visit www.fooddialogues.com, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USFarmersandRanchers. Follow USFRA on Twitter @USFRA using #FoodD.
About the Survey Methodology
Ketchum Global Research & Analytics designed and analyzed a phone survey of 1,250 consumers nationwide, with an oversample of 236 consumers in the New York City designated media area. The survey was fielded October 22nd through 28th 2012 by Braun Research Inc. and has a margin of error of +/-2.8 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. Additionally, Ketchum Global Research & Analytics designed and analyzed a phone survey of 501 farmers and ranchers nationwide, including 36 who opted in for participation through the USFRA site. The survey was fielded October 23 rd through 29th, 2012 by Braun Research Inc. and has a margin of error of +/-4.4% at the 95 percent confidence level. Concurrently, Ketchum Global Research & Analytics designed and analyzed a phone survey of 291 consumers in the New York City Designated Market Area. The survey was fielded October 22rd through 28th, 2012 by Braun Research Inc. and has a margin of error of +/-5.7 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.
About The Food Dialogues
The Food Dialogues℠: New York is designed to answer Americans' questions on some of the most provocative topics related to food, including antibiotics and biotechnology (GMOs). This event, taking place at The TimesCenter in Midtown Manhattan on Thursday, November 15 , will include a series of back-to-back panel discussions with farmers, ranchers, food experts, pundits and media. USFRA helps farmers and ranchers answer consumers' and influencers' questions, including the tough ones, about food production. For additional information about USFRA and The Food Dialogues: New York, visit www.fooddialogues.com, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USFarmersandRanchers. Follow USFRA on Twitter @USFRA using #FoodD.
About U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA)
U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) is a newly formed alliance consisting of a wide range of prominent farmer- and rancher-led organizations and agricultural partners. This marks the first time agricultural groups at the national, regional and state levels have collaborated to lead the dialogue and answer Americans' questions about how we raise our food – while being stewards of the environment, responsibly caring for our animals and maintaining strong businesses and communities.
1 USDA 2007 Census of Agriculture