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Survey Shows Consumer Use of Country-of-Origin Labels Declining Sharply.

Friday, May 15, 2015

(North American Meat Institute)

A new survey by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation found that country-of-origin information maintained its ninth place spot on the list of 11 pieces of labeling information that consumers use when choosing a food product.  Perhaps more in importantly, the percent of consumers saying they use COOL labels has declined markedly from 29 percent in 2013, to 26 percent in 2014 to 15 percent in 2015.  By contrast, half of consumers seek out expiration dates and the nutrition facts panel.  The survey also showed declining interest in all categories of labeling; in fact, one in nine consumers reported no interest in any information on the label.

The finding about declining country-of-origin interest came just as a World Trade Organization (WTO) appellate panel is expected to release its decision in response to a U.S. appeal of an earlier panel ruling that found that mandatory COOL violates the United States’ WTO obligations.  To see the report, click here