Survey: ‘Sustainable,’ ‘Plant-Based’ are Confusing


By Pan Demetrakakes, Food Processing

Jun 06, 2019


Consumers want “sustainable” food but are all over the map as to exactly what that means, according to the latest consumer survey from the International Food Information Council.


IFIC’s 2019 Food & Health Survey is based on an online poll of 1,012 Americans this spring. “Environmental sustainability” was very or somewhat important to 54% of respondents. Asked what makes for sustainability, 51% chose “locally grown,” 48% said “sustainably sourced” and “not bioengineered,” 43% said “organic” and 41% said “recyclable packaging.”


Apparently many consumers find the situation frustrating. The same percentage, 63%, agreed both that it’s hard to know whether food choices are sustainable, and that if it were easier to know, it would have a greater impact on their food choices.


Another point of confusion was what constitutes a “plant-based diet”...