As in so many walks of life, it’s been an unprecedented year in food.
Amid COVID-19 lockdowns and quarantines, dine-in restaurants (that remain in business) embracing take-out and delivery, and sporadic shortages inhibiting an earnest return to the kitchen, the results of the fifth Coast Packing Company/Ipsos Research Animal Fats Study reflected the topsy-turvy time that commenced in March 2020.
The 2021 iteration of the survey from Coast, the number one supplier of animal fat shortenings in the Western United States, polled 1,005 adults nationwide on their attitudes and consumption patterns around animal fats – and found little change in consumer opinions and behavior. As in Coast’s original baseline survey, conducted in November 2015 and revisited annually since, respondents were asked whether they were more or less open to animal fats and whether those views extended to actual behavior. The 2019/2020 Coast-Healthy Fats Coalition (HFC) survey replaced the 2019 wave.
In the latest survey, it appears that no news is news: people’s attitudes toward animal fats, as well as their consumption of animal fats, were reported as being unchanged in recent years at a higher incidence rate than in all four of the prior waves. The findings suggest that pandemic restaurant closures may have put a damper on people seeking out a different diet, a trend that holds true for the general adult population as well as for younger respondents.
For the sample as a whole, 9 percent are now more open to animal fats, a figure that rises to 13 percent among those ages 18-34. The number of consumers less open to animal fats decreased by 15 percent from the previous wave of the study, and roughly 70 percent of respondents haven’t changed their views on animal fats. When considering households with children, 18 percent say they are now more open to animal fats.