Biotech Updates

Price, Nutrition Among Top Factors that Affect Canadian Consumers' Choice to Buy GM Foods

January 6, 2021

A survey conducted in 2018 found that Canadian consumers have diametric opposition to their actual purchasing behavior when it comes to genetically modified (GM) foods. This means that the consumers say that they lack trust in GM foods yet are still willing to buy them if priced reasonably.

The survey involved 506 English-speaking Canadian consumers in July 2018 and the study received ethics approval from the University of Saskatchewan's Office of Ethics. The results revealed that the respondents preferred organic or natural products over GM or biotechnology-derived products, but this preference is set aside when the price of the GM food products is lowered from the organic and natural options' prices. This may imply that the consumers are open to buying GM food products when offered at a reduced price over conventional foods. Moreover, the respondents were found to be willing to try a GM product if a sample was given in a grocery store.

Other findings include that majority of the respondents' top purchase decision factors are price, nutrition, and the origin of the food products they consume. Lastly, the survey reflected that Canadian consumers are content with the information on the food labels of the available products, implying their trust in the country's food safety standards.

The authors concluded by stating that though there is a clear preference for organic and natural food products over GM and biotechnology-derived products by the consumers, consumer opinion is no longer ironclad against the idea of GM food products.

Read the free-access article in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Research.

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