In Italy the trust in the food&beverage sector is not decreasing, as it is happening in the 70% of countries worldwide. The dubts concern above all the speed of innovation and its main actors. Edelman (a global and indipendent society for public relations) has presented the results of research concerning the global situation (data were taken from the Trust Barometer) during the Aspen Forum “Food Security, Nutrition and Global Health”, promoted within the Expo Milan 2015. The sceptical attitude is clear in 27 concerned markets. Singapore, Argentina, Hong Kong, The Netherlands and South Korea show the highest level of trust. In these countries, 51% of the cross-section consider innovation to fast. On the other hand, in Italy, the trust is even slightly increasing, from 63% in 2014 to 64% this year. Fiorella Passoni, General Manager Edelman Italia explains: “data show that among 5 under-sectors (retailer, food and beverage companies, fast food, food farming, livestock and fishing) the one most trusted is the livestock and fishing sector (67%)”. Passoni says: “on the other hands, fast foods has the lowest result (47%). For them the so-called ‘swing trusters’ that is the interviewed who had a weak or neutral opinion, can be an opportunity. In Italy they rapresent the 63% of the fast food segment, in line with the average global value, which is 62%. Passoni also underlines the importance in the food farming sector to better understand the consumer and his needs, in order to be able to involve him with the best tools and build a strong relationship with him.
Trust in innovation
Markets in developing countries shown a bigger opennes to change. There is still a mistrust as far as OGM are concerned: only the 30% of interviewed in Italy consider them positively, 37% in developed countries and 31% in developing countries. The majority consider technology, business targets, avidity and money to be the driving force for innovation. Passoni explains: “Consumers want to understand the reasons behind innovation in this sector and how they can bring positive effects to the society. They wish a more transparent communication with this industry as fas as the driving forces and consequences of innovation are concerned. The F&B sectors invests considerably in research and development, but it should be able to tell its story in a better way”. Finally, Passoni gives some suggestions to the main actors: “If the industry wants to keep and build trust, actors need to involve consumers and stakeholder in a trasparent and significant way. Even companies that traditionally have a B2B approach, need to start a B2B2C approach in order to be more open to partnership and start communicating with the public, underlining the net value and the advantages for the society”.