A document providing insight into what influences the segment of society most capable of changing consumer attitudes toward today's food system is being made available by the Center for Food Integrity (CFI). Messages that Matter is based on CFI's 2010 Consumer Trust in the Food System research.

For the past four years, CFI's annual study has provided important insights into consumer attitudes and beliefs. The latest study specifically targets "early adopting" consumers because of their ability to drive social change.

"If we are going to be successful in changing attitudes we must not only increase consumer knowledge but also change what they currently believe," said Terry Fleck, CFI's executive director. "This document is a key component in our mission to increase consumer trust and confidence in today's food system."

The research tested specific attitudes and beliefs of "early adopters" in the areas of nutrition, food safety, humane treatment of farm animals, and responsible use of technology in food production to determine what messages and programming elements were most successful in changing their attitudes.

Research shows "early adopters," which represent about 13 percent of the population, are opinion leaders who can influence other people. While they have a higher level of concern about food safety, animal welfare and other food system issues they are also information seekers who are willing to consider credible sources.

"We encourage organizations to use this information to help shape their approach to communicating the benefits of today's food system to consumers," said Fleck. "We think organizations will find it very helpful in developing programming and messages."

CFI members can take full advantage of the new information by contacting Allyson Perry at Allyson.perry@foodintegrity.org. An abbreviated version is available to non-members who may visit www.foodintegrity.org/main/contact and fill out the necessary information.

Source: Center For Food Integrity news release