As consumers continue to adjust their shopping and eating habits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey from global software and engineering leader Emerson (NYSE: EMR) finds that food quality – and the technologies that keep food safe – have become increasingly important to consumers.
After surveying nearly 1,000 U.S. consumers on their perception and expectation of food safety practices, Emerson found customers consider the guaranteed quality and freshness of their foods; proper storage of refrigerated and frozen foods; and whether stores use the latest technology to keep food safe during transportation as some of the most important factors driving their food shopping decisions.
- Nearly 2 out of 3 consumers (62%) agree better technology has a role to play in keeping their food safe to eat.
- More than half (56%) of consumers say better data is needed to track proper food safety practices from farm to table.
- Over 5 out of 10 (51%) consumers said they’d be less likely to shop from stores that aren’t using – and having suppliers use – the latest technologies available to keep their food safe.
- Half of consumers (51%) worry about the safety of fresh, perishable and frozen foods during their transportation to stores.
“These survey results confirm that consumers are just as concerned about food safety as we are,” said John Rhodes, group president of cold chain for Emerson. “We’ve made advanced cold chain technologies a top priority, and we have been working for years with many of the world’s top retailers to help provide end-to-end visibility into the life cycle of food. The challenges and habit changes of COVID-19 have shined a spotlight on the critical goal of providing higher-quality, safer food for consumers across the country.”
Emerson’s survey also revealed safety concerns amid COVID-19 have led to a shift in purchasing habits and shopping frequency for many consumers. In addition, over half of consumers (52%) say that they are now more concerned about the safety of their food.
- Nearly 6 out of 10 (59%) consumers say COVID-19 has made them want to support local businesses when they shop.
- Almost half (45%) of consumers say they now shop in person much less frequently.
- 4 out of 10 (40%) consumers say the way they shop has changed permanently.
To help ensure food safety and quality, Emerson has a comprehensive portfolio of smart wireless devices and cloud-based systems that improve visibility across the global cold chain. These technologies help evolve food safety from practices like end-point temperature testing to real-time condition-based monitoring, enabling companies to detect and quickly fix fluctuations in temperature and humidity that could impact food safety and quality.
Emerson (NYSE: EMR), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global technology and engineering company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial and residential markets. Our Automation Solutions business helps process, hybrid and discrete manufacturers maximize production, protect personnel and the environment while optimizing their energy and operating costs. Our Commercial & Residential Solutions business helps ensure human comfort and health, protect food quality and safety, advance energy efficiency and create sustainable infrastructure. For more information visit Emerson.com.