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Ibm Food Sustainability Study 2020

Consumers more attentive to sustainability and blockchain-based traceability

Also this year, Morning Consult and Ibm conducted the “Ibm Food Sustainability Study” in the United States and Europe analyzing the importance that consumers give to food sustainability. The survey, which involved about 3,500 people, including 988 Italians, shows how and how important it is to know the origin of the food we bring to our tables, but also how consumers are not only becoming more and more responsible in purchasing choices, but more demanding towards brands and retailers, to whom are asked clarity and transparency of processes with the support of technology. In fact, trust in blockchain-based traceability systems is growing as indicators for more sustainable purchases; however, excessively high prices still remain an obstacle to be overcome.

In evaluating purchases, Italians give priority to local origin (58%) and healthy foods (45%) rather than sustainable origin or the reduction of waste. In particular, it is the older generations who give weight to the origin of the food, while the younger ones give more importance to the health benefits. The Covid-19 pandemic, however, has also brought about changes in the food education of Italians: about half of the respondents are now more inclined to worry about the sustainability of the food they buy, with the GenZ in the lead for attention to these aspects (55%). Compared to 2019, 8% more Italians (86%), and therefore a strong majority, said they consider sustainability a key factor in the Christmas dinner and holidays.

The research has shown that prices that are still too high are the main obstacle to the supply of food from more responsible sources at European level (42%). For Italians, however, it is the lack of information relating to the origin of the food that represents the main problem at the time of purchase (35%): 3 out of 4 Italians, in fact, are willing to pay even 5-10% more of the price on the shelf in order to have food of sustainable origin. The majority of Italian respondents (75%) expressed concern about food waste: women (78%) and Millennials (80%) are the categories most attentive to waste . In addition, 92% of respondents say they are more willing to buy food from supermarkets that have projects and initiatives concerning food waste.

92% of Italians say that blockchain and food traceability is precious: in particular, it is women (3 out of 5) and baby boomers (63%) who believe that food traceability should become a constant because it allows them to guarantee the authenticity of the products, providing certified information on origin, freshness and manufacturing process. According to another recent study by IBM and Morning Consult, focused on the fish chain, 71% of Italians would increase their purchases if they could verify the sustainability of farms and production with the help of the most advanced technologies, including blockchain, AI , IoT sensors, cloud, which certify the preservation of quantities and varieties of fish in oceans, lakes and rivers.

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EFA News - European Food Agency