So why is that, if so many people state that they are concerned about GM foods?
An indication of why has been provided by Environics International, a Canadian company which has done some cluster graphs on consumer attitudes to food and whose research translates well into Australia. The general finding of its research shows that attitudes towards GM foods are more driven by general attitudes towards food than attitudes towards gene technology.
They have defined six distinct consumer segments:
The first, Food Elites, who prefer to eat organics and the best foods and will pay for them ( about 1 in 10 amongst the population ).
Then, the Naturalists, who prefer to buy from markets rather than supermarkets ( about 1 in 8 ).
Fearful Shoppers, who have concerns about most foods, predominantly elder consumers ( about 1 in 5 ).
Nutrition Seekers, who treat food as fuel for the body ( about 1 in 5 ).
Date Code Diligent, who read labels, but generally only look at the use-by date and fat content, predominantly younger women ( about 1 in 8 ).
And The Unconcerned, who don’t really care too much about what they eat, predominantly younger men ( about 1 in 8 ).
Those top three, the food elites, the naturalists and the fearful shoppers, are concerned about many food issues and also concerned about GM foods. The bottom three, the nutrition seekers, the date code diligent and the unconcerned have specific concerns only, or aren’t too concerned about foods at all and are not concerned about GM foods.