Nutrition

Survey Says: Consumers Want Food Made with U.S. Crops

The United Soybean Board (USB) released results of a new survey, highlighting consumer perceptions of U.S. soybeans, soybean farmers and the U.S. food supply chain. According to the survey, consumer support of domestic agriculture has only grown stronger, with 78%  of consumers – an 8% increase since the last survey in December 2020 – saying it’s important to purchase U.S.-grown food, including soybeans.

“It’s encouraging to see support of U.S. agriculture increase over the past year, a true testament to the work of soybean farmers through their checkoff to strengthen consumer perceptions of U.S.-grown soybeans,” said Belinda Burrier, Chair of USB’s Communication and Education Committee and a soybean farmer from Maryland. “Understanding our customers’ attitudes is a critical component as our investments aim to demonstrate the nutritional value of soybeans, ultimately increasing demand and bringing value back to the farm.”

Other key takeaways from the study include:

  • U.S. farmers continue to be the most trusted source when it comes to food safety, with 83% of consumers ranking them No. 1 among members of the supply chain, an increase of 5% since the last survey in December 2020.
  • The vast majority of consumers, 82%, have a very/somewhat positive view of U.S. farmers who grow crops, including soybeans. This is a 3% increase since the December 2020 survey.
  • Soy is seen as healthy by more than half of consumers, with 60% saying that soy-based food is somewhat/very healthy and 26% having a neutral view of soy. However, only 39% are aware that the soybeans used in popular foods are grown sustainably.

With promotion and education being key pillars of the checkoff, the survey validated that informing consumers is an effective tool, with 72% of respondents feeling more positive about soy as a food ingredient after learning about the sustainability of soybeans. Likewise, communicating about soy as a high-quality “complete” protein proved to be the most impactful statement on consumers’ perception of soy, highlighting an essential opportunity to demonstrate its excellent protein profile to health-conscious consumers.

“Driving home soy as a complete protein, coupled with awareness that this product is sustainably grown, poses a real opportunity for our industry to raise the profile of soyfoods,” said Mace Thornton, vice president of communications and marketing strategy for USB. “Insights from this survey will inform investment decisions of the checkoff’s farmer-led Communication and Education Committee and ultimately help deliver sustainable soy solutions to every life, every day.”

USB Staff Writer

Staff Writer

United Soybean Board

United Soybean Board’s 78 volunteer farmer-directors work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds in programs and partnerships to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel and increase preference for U.S. soy. That preference is based on U.S. soybean meal and oil quality and the sustainability of U.S. soybean farmers.