Eat this Headline

December 20, 2013 // By: // 3 Comments

Food & Beverage      Research & Insights



Since 2003, Hunter PR has polled Americans about the top food news of the year. From outbreaks of food related illness, to nutrition and health issues, controversies over legislation, and the fun stuff, like the surge in popularity of all things bacon, Americans and the media that serve them place an enormous amount of importance, and rightly so, on information about the food they eat and its impact on their health and wallets. In fact, our annual Food News Study finds that almost half rate food related news as more important than other news stories. As an agency built on food & beverage public relations, that’s music to our ears.

This year, what didn’t make the list of top headlines is almost as interesting as what did. For the first time in five years, with fewer outbreaks of food-bourn illness making headlines and the economy finally loosening its grip, neither food prices nor food safety issues broke through. What did grab the headlines and America’s attention? The continued fight against childhood obesity, Bloomberg’s proposed soda ban, and Twinkies. Yes, Twinkies, demonstrating the importance of iconic and beloved brands.

Last year, our Insights & Strategy Group went beyond the headlines and “what made news,” digging deeper into how that news affected behavior at the shelf and at America’s dinner table. We continued that work in 2013, and also took a deeper dive into the top and most trusted sources of food related information, be it nutrition, recipes, or general news. The key takeaway: when it comes to food, reports of the death of traditional media have been greatly exaggerated. Television, newspapers and food magazines still rate highly, both in terms of top sources, and most trust.

Both sources of food information and the trust factor vary by generation, and when crossed with attitudes and behaviors, an even more interesting story begins to unfold. In early 2014, Hunter Public Relations along with our research partners, Libran Research & Consulting, will release a segmentation study on The Six Food News Consumers You Need To Know. Learn more about this year’s Food News Study results and sign up to receive this whitepaper when it becomes available.

About the Author

Samara Farber Mormar

As Senior Vice President of Insights & Strategy, Samara oversee’s Hunter PR’s proprietary approach to research and strategic planning.