Consumers' Soy Habits

November 21, 2011

Do all consumers love soy foods, and for what reasons? Find out in the results of this exclusive SupermarketGuru quick poll.

For many reasons today, 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, The Lempert Report 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 25% 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 soy milk and meat alternatives and finally soy yogurt, protein bars, miso, and burgers.
Why do shoppers consume soy foods? The SG poll suggests for better health and because they enjoy the taste were most popular, 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 and are 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 make it hard for our bodies to assimilate vitamins and minerals, as well as disrupt thyroid function and more.
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.