Category Partners Break Down Food Recall Stats

Fri. April 26th, 2019
- by Maggie Mead     


IDAHO FALLS, ID - Food recalls are no fun for anyone in the supply chain, from producers to retailers to consumers. But what happens after the recall, when those food products return to shelves? Can shoppers find it in their hearts to forgive and forget? A recent study conducted by Category Partners (CP) asked those questions to determine what actually happens to recalled fresh food items once they re-enter the retail space. The study polled 1,000 consumers throughout the U.S., aged 25-65+.

The study reports good news, finding that consumers begin to buy formerly recalled products relatively quickly, though there is some discrepancy between retail departments. 49 percent of respondents say they would buy a bakery item within a week of its return to shelves, compared to 45 percent buying meat items, and just 38 percent buying a seafood item, according to the press release.

Cara Ammon, Director of Research, Category Partners“Consumers are generally open to buy fresh foods after a recall, despite there being differences among departments, regions and demographic groups. It is important for the industry—producers and retailers—to rebuild consumers’ trust and do everything possible to provide food that is safe to eat and to communicate when and why it is safe again,” said Cara Ammon, Director of Research for Category Partners. “Some may take longer than others, but eventually the vast majority of consumers will feel comfortable buying these once-recalled items again.”

The study reports good news, finding that consumers begin to buy formerly recalled products relatively quickly

There are, however, some shoppers who will wait months to purchase a previously recalled item and some who never will again. Seven percent of shoppers reported they would only buy a product several months after the recall ends, and four percent reported that they will never buy it again.

Across departments, it was with seafood that consumers were least likely to buy a previously recalled item, with 11 percent waiting several months to buy again, and 11 percent who will never buy the item again.

Aside from the department the item is from, there are several other factors influencing consumers’ decisions to purchase recalled items again, including region, age, household income, and presence of children.

Consumers are generally open to buy fresh foods after a recall, despite there being differences among departments, regions and demographic groups

“While the differences are not quite outside the margin of error, we did notice that across all five fresh fresh departments, slightly more consumers in the South and Northeast said they would be willing to buy previously recalled fresh food items within a week of their return to the shelves, while consumers in the West are slightly slower to buy these items again,” Ammon commented.

Younger consumers, it turns out, are more forgiving than older consumers when it comes to recalled items. Over half of respondents aged 44 and under reported that they would buy produce, meat, deli, and bakery items within a week or less of the item returning to stores. Respondents aged 65 and older were much more stringent, with only 37 percent reporting they would purchase produce items, 33 percent for meat, 33 percent for deli items, and 29 percent for seafood items within a week or less of the product returning to stores.

The study reports that though consumers aged 44 and younger are more likely to have children in the home, consumers with children are more likely to purchase recalled items sooner than those without children.

There are several other factors influencing consumers’ decisions to purchase recalled items again, including region, age, household income, and presence of children

Statistics for consumers with and without children include:

  • 53% of respondents with children report that they would buy a produce item within one week or less or its return
  • 43% of respondents without children report that they would buy a produce item within one week or less or its return
  • 54% of respondents with children report that they would buy a meat item within one week or less or its return
  • 39% of respondents without children report that they would buy a meat item within one week or less or its return
  • 47% of respondents with children report that they would buy a seafood item within one week or less or its return
  • 31% of respondents without children report that they would buy a seafood item within one week or less or its return

Women, the study reports, are more cautious than men when purchasing previously-recalled items, again, particularly with seafood.

Statistics for gender-based purchasing of previously-recalled meat and seafood items include:

  • 54% of female respondents report that they would wait more than a month to buy recalled seafood items
  • 42% of male respondents report that they would wait more than a month to buy recalled seafood items
  • 39% of female respondents report that they would wait more than a month to buy recalled deli items
  • 25% of male respondents report that they would wait more than a month to buy recalled deli items

Across all departments, consumers with higher incomes and higher levels of education are more forgiving when purchasing previously-recalled items.

Statistics for income- and education-based purchasing of previously-recalled items include:

  • 58% of respondents earning over $150,000 per year report that they would buy recalled meat items within a week of the item’s return
  • 41% of respondents earning less than $35,000 report that they would buy recalled meat items within a week of the item’s return
  • 56% of respondents with a master’s degree or higher are likely to buy a recalled produce item within a week of the item’s return
  • 44% of respondents with a high school diploma or less are likely to buy a recalled produce item within a week of the item’s return

For more produce-related reports, keep reading AndNowUKnow.

Category Partners

 
――――――――ф―――――――――
 
――――――――――――――――――