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News: Britain is a nation of consumer sceptics

A new report from independent market analyst Datamonitor reveals that the UK has become a nation of consumer sceptics with less than half (44%) of the population trusting nutritional claims made by food and drink companies.

This, of course is not unique to the UK, but is an international issue. Some 86% of US and European consumers surveyed said that they have become more distrustful of corporations within the past five years.

"The consumer packaged goods industry in particular is suffering from a ‘trust void’", comments Daniel Bone, Consumer Markets Analyst at Datamonitor and author of the report. "These survey statistics are merely a snapshot of the overall negativity that characterises contemporary European and US consumers.

Trust relationship is breaking down

Less than half of consumers in Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK trust nutritional claims made by food and drink companies to be trustworthy. This scepticism is not exclusive to the food and drink industry, and consumers are equally doubtful of claims made by cosmetics and toiletries companies.

"These findings should be of considerable concern to the industry," comments Bone. "Not only does it undermine attempts to develop relationships with consumers, it also hinders the chances of future new product development."

When consumers lack trust in everyday product propositions, it will be difficult to generate mass appeal for those products which boast more expansive claims," pointed out Bone.

Percentage of consumers who consider the claim to be trustworthy, by country

 

France

Germany

Italy

Neth.

Spain

Sweden

UK

Claims made by cosmetics and toiletries companies

56%

50%

55%

54%

53%

42%

51%

Nutritional claims made by food and drink companies

55%

56%

49%

61%

46%

38%

44%

Source: Datamonitor

European consumers are paying more attention to the recommendations of friends and family, especially in the UK where 72% of respondents consider the recommendations of family and friends ‘important’ or ‘very important’ when choosing everyday products and services.

Other factors cited as being important include seeking added information about a product’s origins/provenance to choosing more expensive, higher quality variants.

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