The World Health Organization's recent study linking processed and read meat consumption to cancer will unlikely change consumers' eating behaviors with regard to these foods, according to The NPD Group.
NPD analyzed consumption behavior of these kinds of meats following the release of similar findings in 2002 by the American Cancer Society (ACS), and found that there was little change before and after the study was released. The findings cited those with diets high in fruits and vegetables and low in animal fat, meat and calories had a reduced risk of some common types of cancer.
Since attitudes and behaviors can differ, NPD also analyzed consumers’ intentions to eat processed and red meats after the release of the ACS’ dietary guidelines, and found that intentions for these foods following the release continued to follow the same patterns as before.
According to NPD Food and Beverage Industry Analyst Darren Seifer, "Humans are creatures of habit for the most part, and are slow to change but we do evolve," he says. "It’s that slow evolution in both attitudes and behaviors to which producers, processors, food manufacturers, and retailers must pay attention.”