Consumers’ Enjoy Soy

December 12, 2011

Cutting back on meat and switching to soy? Find out what consumers had to say in the results to the SupermarketGuru soy quick poll

For many reasons, consumers are cutting back on their meat consumption; whether it’s environmental or climate change concerns, wanting to be like the latest celebrity vegetarian, increasing food prices, or other reasons, consumers are rethinking their protein sources. In an exclusive consumer panel survey, SupermarketGuru set out to understand consumers' attitudes towards their current diet and their soy foods consumption.

When asked to describe their eating habits, just under half of the panel said their diet and eating habits were balanced, while a quarter said they were inconsistent or mixed. Fifteen percent said they were vegetarian or vegan.

Soy products are a part of most foods in the standard American diet, as soy is used in most breakfast cereals, packaged snack foods, condiments and more. When asked which foods with soy as a main ingredient they consume on a regular basis, tofu and edamame were most popular. The next most popular foods were soymilk and meat alternatives, and finally soy yogurt, protein bars, miso, and burgers.

Why do shoppers consume soy foods? The SupermarketGuru poll suggests for better health and because consumers enjoy the taste, followed by avoiding animal protein. Thirty-two percent report that they do not eat any soy foods. Why? Health concerns, price, GMO labeling, taste and availability were cited most often.

Soy foods' health benefits have been widely disputed, and one can find health professionals on both sides of the argument. Soy foods are a “complete” protein containing all of the essential amino acids as well as being rich in fiber, lecithin and isoflavones. Many believe that fermented soy products, including Tempeh, miso, tamari soy sauce and natto, are much more health promoting than their non-fermented counterparts; due to natural compounds in soy that inhibit the assimilation and digestion of vitamins and minerals, as well as disrupt thyroid function.

Consumers say they would be encouraged to try more soy foods if they were less expensive, had more science-based research on benefits, a greater selection and better taste.
For more on soy, click here.