Concern about access to food and beverage during the COVID-19 outbreak had been on a steady decline from a peak of more than 75% of consumers the week of March 18, until earlier this month when it increased slightly from 61% during the week of April 22 to 63% in the week of May 6, according to the Consumer Brands Association’s most recent installment of its weekly survey of Americans’ perspectives on the pandemic.
CBA’s senior director of industry narrative Katie Denis explained in a blog post on the trade association’s website that the uptick follows news of meat and poultry processing closures and shortage threats, “an issue 76% of respondents were familiar with.”
This mirrors a dip in consumer confidence in producers’ ability to supply sufficient food revealed by a survey conducted by the International Food Information Council May 7-12 and released May 20.
According to IFIC’s survey, 73% of consumers are confident that manufacturers can produce enough food to meet consumer needs in the month ahead – down from 77% in April when IFIC fielded a similar survey.
Of the different food categories, concern about access to meat is the highest, according to IFIC. It found 21% of people are concerned about running out of meat versus 19% who feared running out of fresh food and 16% who worry about not having enough healthy food. While access to healthy food is lower on consumers’ list of fears, IFIC noted it more than doubled from 9% in April.
Despite rising concerns about access to meat and other animal products, IFIC found that roughly half of consumers are eating the same amount of most types of protein. Specifically, it found 50% say they are eating the same amount of meat, eggs and dairy and plant-based protein.