UK’s Horsemeat Scandal Changes 6 in 10 Shopper’s Buying Habits. 30% Buy Less Processed Meats.

Which? Graphic:  6 in 10 changed their shopping habits because of the horsemeat scandal.A poll was conducted by Which? to gauge consumer confidence in the food industry in the wake of the UK’s horsemeat scandal. Here’s a summary of the poll results (from Which?):

“Consumer trust in the food industry has dropped by a quarter (24%) since the horsemeat scandal broke, a Which? survey has revealed. 30% of shoppers are now buying less processed meat and a quarter (24%) are buying fewer ready meals with meat in, or choosing vegetarian options.

Two thirds of people (68%) don’t think the government has been giving enough attention to enforcing labelling laws, with half of consumers (47%) not confident that ingredient information is accurate.

Confidence in food safety has also taken a hit. Before the scandal broke, nine in 10 felt confident when buying products in the supermarket. This has dropped to seven in 10.”

According to the Guardian, the horsemeat scandal has been a boon for meatless-meat producer Quorn:

“As sales of frozen burgers have tumbled amid further evidence of horsemeat in a range of meat products including ready meals, Quorn – the UK’s biggest vegetarian ready meal brand – said last week that it had seen sales growth more than double in the second half of February as shoppers snapped up its burgers, mince and sausages made from a form of fungus.”

I’m sure this change in consumer buying habits to non-meat meat products is the reaction most people expected.

On the plus side, other than some people gagging and a few hurling at the thought, there haven’t been any reports of people becoming ill by eating horsemeat. Another bonus of the horsemeat scandal: it’s kind of nice to hear that consumers are working down the food chain – hopefully most will stay there. [Guardian and Which?]