Genetically Modified Chickens?

The Lempert Report
December 22, 2015

This one comes out of the book, I can’t believe you are really that dumb.

The National Chicken Council just released a survey on December 1, 2015 that asked consumers about what they know or don’t know about chickens. Over three-quarters of those surveyed said that chickens were genetically modified. Seriously? And this at the time where headlines raged about the GE salmon, the FIRST genetically engineered animal. The survey might have been designed to shock and bring more attention to the launch of their new website Chicken Check In, but it underscores just how confused shoppers really are and how we communicate animal welfare, health and nutrition messaging and other food related issues are so ineffective.

One could argue that in this era of transparency there is too much information, often conflicting information, available on foods. There is no question that shoppers have the right to know what is in our foods, who is making them, where they come from and more. But this survey response makes it perfectly clear that we as an industry need to do a lot more if we are ever to feel confident that consumers understand and trust our industry.

We must learn how to communicate more effectively. Many retailers including Shop Rite, Wegmans, Hy-Vee, Mariano’s, Mejer and many more have added registered dietitians to their in-store and corporate staffs, which measurable results, we look forward to seeing more RDs added across the country, but in order to make their efforts a success, it will take a commitment from top management of grocery retailers and brands that this is a 24/7 effort and the result in not communicating properly is a serious deficiency and must be corrected.