SOURCE: Hunter Public Relations

December 07, 2010 14:47 ET

Top Food Stories of 2010 Revealed in Survey

BP Oil Spill's Impact on Seafood Industry Tops List in Annual Survey Commissioned by Hunter Public Relations

NEW YORK , NY--(Marketwire - December 7, 2010) - When Americans were asked to choose the most significant food story of 2010, the impact of the BP oil spill on the seafood industry topped the list. This is the first time in three years that an environmental food story has taken the number one spot in the eighth annual year-end food survey commissioned by Hunter Public Relations, a leading public relations firm specializing in the food and beverage industry. The survey revealed the following as the three biggest food-related stories of 2010:

#1: Impact of BP Oil Spill on Seafood Industry
As Americans learned about the size of BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, they grew increasingly concerned about the quality of seafood from the region, with 68 percent voting for this as the top food story of 2010. Although overall seafood supplies remain safe, the environmental damage has left many fisheries and coastal businesses devastated.

#2: Massive Nationwide Egg Recall
Coming in at a close second was the national outbreak of salmonella in eggs that sickened hundreds of people, leading to a national recall. The salmonella bacteria spread to nearly 380 million chicken eggs distributed by Wright County Egg, one of the top egg producers in the U.S.

#3: E. Coli Fear Leads to 35,000 Pound Beef Recall
The number three spot went to another major recall when concern over possible E. coli contamination led a Southern California meat distributor to recall approximately 35,000 pounds of ground beef. Although no illnesses were reported, precautions were taken after bacteria were detected through biological sampling.

Click here for the complete list of the ten most significant food stories of 2010. 

Food in Pop Culture 

  • When asked about the top pop culture food news, 42 percent of Americans voted for the limited return of the McRib sandwich to McDonald's menu as the biggest story.
  • In second place, 20 percent of surveyors chose Pepsi forgoing Super Bowl ads in favor of a social media program.
  • The third spot, with 19 percent of the vote, went to the human nutrition professor who lost 27 pounds on a Twinkie diet.
  • The launch of the "Slurpee Summit" by 7-Eleven (9 percent of the vote) and the death of the creator of the Cheez Doodle, Morrie Yohai, (5 percent of the vote) round out the top five biggest pop culture food stories of 2010.

Food Trends That Should Be Over

  • When asked which food trend they want to be over by 2011, 49 percent of Americans felt that "bacon flavored everything" is past its prime.
  • Twenty percent of Americans voted for an end to the cupcake craze, 17 percent were fed up with high-end burgers and 9 percent would do away with gourmet food trucks.

He Said/She Said

  • Overwhelmingly, men cited the BP oil spill as 2010's most influential food story. Women, on the other hand, selected the egg recall story for the top spot.
  • Data showed that more women identified with First Lady Michelle Obama's efforts to reform school lunches. Twenty-eight percent of women selected this as the top food story of 2010, compared to only 19 percent of men.
  • Men and women see (Rib)eye to (Rib)eye on the McRib being the top pop culture food story of the year (43 percent vs. 42 percent).

ABOUT THE SURVEY
The eighth annual year-end food survey was commissioned by Hunter Public Relations, one
of the nation's leading public relations agencies serving the food and beverage industry. Hunter
PR enlisted Wakefield, an independent market research firm, to survey 1,000 Americans, ages
18 years and older, via an email invitation and online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. population ages 18 years and older. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

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