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Abstract

A nationwide survey was conducted in March 1974 to measure consumer opinions concerning their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with food products, how these are sold in stores, and how well the food industry meets the consumer's demands. Questionnaires were completed by 1,831 households, or 72 percent of the eligible number in the sample. In each household, the person primarily responsible for food buying was interviewed. Generally, respondents expressed a high overall level of satisfaction with food products and foodstores. But probing beneath the surface unearthed several areas of frustration and dissatisfaction. Consumers evidently separate specific sources of dissatisfaction from their favorable overall evaluation of food products and stores. Price stood out as the most obvious source of displeasure but here too, the intensity of dissatisfaction differed significantly across products. Consumers also expressed dissatisfaction with the availability and reliability of product and shopping information. People most likely to be dissatisfied live in the Northeast, are less than 55 years old, have attended college, work outside the home, earn over $15,000 and live in the suburbs in larger households. Respondents generally were more satisfied with dairy products and eggs, bakery and cereal products, and processed fruits and vegetables than with convenience foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, and meat and poultry.

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