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Is American Food Purchasing Sustainable?

June 13, 2022 | Letters

Jinho Jung, Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Purdue University, Department of Agricultural Economics

Following last week’s dive into food expenditures, we’re continuing with the Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability (CFDAS)’s Consumer Food Insights this week; however, we’re changing gears to focus on the Sustainable Food Purchasing Index (SFP), which captures the degrees of healthy diet habits based on consumers’ shopping habits. The Sustainable Food Purchasing Index is a comprehensive index representing six components:

– Nutrition

– Economics

– Security

– Environment

– Taste

– Social

Overall, the SFP index remained stable from where it was measured in January, coming in overall for March at 68. U.S. consumers favor affordable and tasty food items over those nutritious, environmentally friendly and socially healthy. These findings are nearly identical to those described in the 2021 Consumer Corner letter describing how People Like Tasty Food, including selecting taste over healthfulness. The Sustainable Food Purchasing Index increased with household income for security, economic and taste indicators. Additional details are available on the Consumer Food Insights website.