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More Americans Choosing Foods, Beverages Based on HealthfulnessSurvey Also Shows Fewer Than 1 in 4 Having Emotional Conversations About Food
Washington, DC (PRWEB) May 15, 2014
The number of American consumers who consider healthfulness when purchasing their food and beverages has shown a significant uptick in the past two years. That is among the findings of the IFIC Foundations 2014 Food and Health Survey.
Given the perceived volume and intensity of conversations and debates about food, the Foundation also asked whether consumers had had an emotional conversation about food in the preceding six months. Fewer than one in four respondents (23 percent) said that they had.
American consumers perceptions and behaviors regarding the healthfulness of their diets and level of physical activity are among the surveys most encouraging findings. While taste and price consistently have been the top two factors that impact consumers food and beverage purchases (90 percent and 73 percent respectively), healthfulness in 2014 almost entirely closed the gap with price, rising from 61 percent of consumers in 2012 to 71 percent this year, a 10 percentage-point increase.
Beneath the surface, certain subpopulations saw greater relative increases than others. Consumers aged 18-34, who cite healthfulness as a driver of food and beverage purchases, increased from 55 percent in 2013 to 66 percent in 2014, significantly narrowing the gap with other age groups.
The nine-point increase among men from 56 percent last year to 65 percent this year was a significant gain, as was the increase among those who are not college graduates, 67 percent of whom reported that their purchasing decisions were impacted by healthfulness, up from 61 percent in 2013.
As in previous years, consumers report other areas where they are trying to improve the healthfulness of their diets. More than four out of five (83 percent) report that theyve tried to eat more fruits and vegetables either within the past year or for more than a year. Seventy-nine percent say they have cut calories by drinking water or low- and no-calorie beverages. Seventy-two percent are eating more whole grains. In addition, four in five report that they are trying either to lose weight (54 percent) or maintain their weight (25 percent).
Topping the list of what respondents believe to be the most effective weight-management strategy is tracking and increasing the amount of time of physical activity at 27 percent, followed closely by eating smaller portions at 26 percent, and eating smaller and more frequent meals or snacks at 23 percent.
Consumers also evaluated which sources they trusted most for information about nutrition, physical activity, and weight loss. Health professionals were far and away the top choice (50 percent, 53 percent, and 59 percent respectively). Health-focused websites follow behind (15 percent, 17 percent, and 14 percent), and scientific journals (11 percent, 11 percent, and 9 percent). No other source rated in double digits. Social media, news media, and TV personalities were in the low single-digits across all three information categories.
When consumers rated their priorities in life, the importance of a healthful diet often ranked either the same as or more important than other major priorities. The percentage of consumers who said the following priorities were about the same as or less important than than a healthful diet: spending time with loved ones (48 percent), minimizing stress (58 percent), having a healthy financial situation (62 percent), getting enough exercise (67 percent), feeling fulfilled in their jobs (73 percent), and having an active social life (82 percent).
While peoples attitudes about healthfulness in their food and beverage purchases and consumption alone dont necessarily mean we are a healthier country today than we were a year or two ago, it could signal that we are moving in the right direction, said Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, LD, FADA, senior vice president for nutrition and food safety at the International Food Information Council Foundation. If perceptions translate into actions, the impact on the health and wellness of our nation could be significant and long-lasting.
The 2014 Food and Health Survey attempted to gauge the level of emotions in conversations around food.
Public dialogue reviews conducted by the IFIC Foundation (independent of the Food and Health Survey) suggest growing intensity both online and in traditional media in conversations about food and the food production system, particularly among those with negative perceptions.
However, given that only 23 percent of respondents report having had an emotional conversation about food in the past six months, it could suggest that those who are dominating the discussions and perpetuating negativity about food are a distinct minority. Half of respondents (50 percent) report having conversations about food that are not emotional.
While it is a classic example of the most sensational and entertaining reports getting attention, our data show the vast majority of consumers are not swayed by the rhetoric, said David B. Schmidt, president and CEO of the IFIC Foundation. Most consumers are making health a conscious decision and trust those experts and organizations with the most authoritative training and expertise.
Additional findings from the IFIC Foundations 2014 Food and Health Survey:
Confidence in food safety: While a solid majority remain confident in the safety of the U.S. food supply, there nevertheless has been a steady erosion since 2012. This year, 66 percent of consumers are at least somewhat confident in the food supply, while 30 percent are not too confident or not at all confident. In 2012, the former figure stood at 78 percent, while the latter stood at 18 percent, an overall negative swing of 24 points over three years.
When it comes to information about food safety, food ingredients, and the way foods and beverages are farmed and produced, government agencies are consumers go-to source, chosen as most trusted by 39 percent, 26 percent, and 28 percent respectively. Social media and TV personalities were considered the most-trusted resource for all three information categories by only 2 percent or fewer consumers. The news media rated 5 percent, 3 percent, and 12 percent respectively.
Planning what we eat: When it comes to what consumers use on a regular basis to help plan what they eat, shopping lists ranked the highest at 59 percent, followed by coupons (53 percent), in-store discounts (49 percent), recipes (45 percent) and meal plans (24 percent).
Checking the label: Between 2013 and 2014, there were decreasessome of them substantialin the categories of information consumers say they look for on the label of a food or beverage. Expiration date still leads the list at 66 percent, returning to traditional levels after a spike last year to 82 percent. The percentage of consumers who check the Nutrition Facts Panel was relatively unchanged this year at 65 percent, along with the ingredients list at 52 percent and calorie/nutrition information at 42 percent.
Significant decreases in label-reading behavior were found with serving sizes and amount per container (44 percent in 2014 vs. 55 percent in 2013), brand name (35 percent in 2014 vs. 53 percent in 2013), cooking instructions (32 percent vs. 45 percent), and statements about nutrition benefits (30 percent vs. 43 percent).
Consumption of nutrients and food components: The survey also revealed what nutrients or food components consumers are trying to limit or increase consumption of. The components and the number of respondents who are trying to get a certain amount or as much as possible of them are: fiber (53 percent), whole grains (53 percent), protein (50 percent), calcium (36 percent), omega-3 fats (21 percent), potassium (19 percent), and probiotics (18 percent).
In terms of those nutrients or c
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New York, New York (PRWEB) May 27, 2014
smarTours, a leading provider of affordable, high-quality international tour packages across the globe, is proud to announce the launch of its thirteen-day Majestic Morocco tour, starting at an incredibly low price of $ 2,399 per person, including round-trip, non-stop international airfare. Destinations include Casablanca, Marrakesh, Dades, Erfoud, Fez, and Rabat. Rates are based on an early booking discount for reservations made prior to June 26, 2014 for this comprehensive tour of the country.
One of Africas most spectacular destinations, Moroccos untouched mountains, serene deserts with towering sand dunes, beautiful coastlines, and vibrant imperial cities converge to create an amazing travel experience throughout the region. Combine all of that with fantastic hospitality and world-famous cuisine, and any traveler will have an unforgettable adventure. Space is limited for this trip of a lifetime!
On smarTours’ journey to Morocco, smarTours travelers will begin with a day and night in Casablanca, one of the largest and most important cities in all of Africa. On the next leg of the tour, travelers will explore Marrakesh, the Red City, a majestic place filled with palaces, gardens, markets (or souks) and mosques. During this three-night stay in Marrakesh at an upscale hotel, visit the Saadian Tombs, the Koutoubia Mosque, and the Bahia Palace. smarTours travelers will also enjoy one of the most memorable parts of any trip to Marrakesh, a walk through the UNESCO World Heritage Medina with its palm readers, snake charmers, acrobats, and musicians, among experiencing a variety of other exciting activities throughout this wonderful city. After an incredible experience in Casablanca and Marrakesh, visit the cities of Dades, Erfoud, Fez, and Rabat, highlighted by an excursion through the Erg Chebbi, the largest sand desert in Morocco, where travelers will trade automobiles for camels for the authentic Moroccan travel experience. This journey through the Merzouga dunes on camelback will leave any experienced traveler with memories that will last a lifetime (and amazing pictures as well)!
The smarTours Majestic Morocco tour package includes round-trip, non-stop international airfare from JFK via Royal Air Maroc, ground transportation and transfers, accommodations at first class hotels, 18 meals, comprehensive sightseeing tours, and an experienced English speaking Tour Director throughout. The amazing value of $ 2,399 per person, including airfare, is based on an early booking discount for reservations made prior to June 26, 2014. The first scheduled departure date is October 10, 2014.
For more information about smarTours Majestic Morocco package, please call smarTours at 1-800-337-7773 or visit the smarTours website!
smarTours was founded in 1996 with one goal in mind: to provide high quality, exciting group tour packages to some of the most fascinating countries in the world at the lowest possible price. The team at smarTours believes deeply that high quality international travel should be affordable. Since 1996, we have provided unbeatable travel experiences to over 130,000 happy travelers. Most of our travelers are repeat customers, including many who have traveled with smarTours 5, 10, even 15 times. Our tours, which we stand behind as Best Travel Bargains, have received considerable press coverage over the years from the likes of the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today, among many others. smarTours has also been the recipient of several prestigious awards for providing some of the best value in travel, including: Best Provider of Vacation Package Deals to Europe or Asia (2012 Travelzoo Awards) and Best Priced Packages to South Africa (2010 Ubuntu Tourism Awards).
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New York, NEW YORK (PRWEB) August 29, 2014
Ovation Travel Group, the 5th largest travel management company by sales volume in the country according to Business Travel News 2014, has been recognized by Concur as a Travel Management Company (TMC) Preferred Partner.
We are thrilled to be recognized by Concur as one of their preferred partners, said Michael Steiner, Executive Vice President of Ovation. Being one of 18 agencies with this status demonstrates our unique partnership with Concur and provides our clients with front line access to Concurs enhanced service offerings and unveiled technological products.
The preferred partnership status with Concur includes a number of benefits for selected TMCs including preferred networking and access to Concurs sales organization, exclusive sponsorship opportunities and a broader range of resale and referral opportunities.
Ovation is also proud to participate as a guest author for Concurs Preferred Partner Blog and a featured panelist in Concur and The BTN Groups webinar series Extending Travel Management Company Services.
About Ovation Travel Group
Ovation Travel Group is a $ 900 million travel management company comprised of three operating companies: Ovation Travel Group, Lawyers Travel and Ovation Vacations. Ovation manages travel services for prominent finance, law, entertainment, retail, consulting and professional service firms since 1984. Ovation’s mission is to provide outstanding service, cost savings and comprehensive travel solutions to professional travel managers, administrators and business travelers. Ovation is the 5th largest TMC by sales volume in the country according to Business Travel News 2014, receiving accolades from more than 700 discerning clients. Ovation operates in over 90 offices nationwide and in more than 90 countries. For further information on Ovation, please visit: http://www.ovationtravel.com.