Thursday, January 3, 2008

Consumers Avoiding Foreign Ingredients

An industry trade magazine, The Natural Foods Merchandiser recently reported on a large survey that was done of the supplement purchasing population. It was found that consumers vastly underestimate the percentage of ingredients in their vitamins and supplements that come from China. This falls into line with what has been reported here in the past about the fact that many products do not state the country of origin for their compounds.

This survey, conducted November 16th and 17th, was a nationally representative group of more than 1,000 people, about 50% of whom self-reported themselves to be purchasers of dietary supplements. It was apparent in the survey that the respondents felt that very few of the ingredients in these products originated from China. At the same time, nearly two-thirds of the same group said that they would be far less likely to purchase a product if they knew it was of Chinese origin.

Little did these consumers know that the percentage of Chinese ingredients in popular products is considerably higher than even their most pessimistic estimates.

Unfortunately, the whiplash effect of the Chinese contamination stories in the press appears to have rubbed off on other countries of origin as well . . . 40% of these consumers say they would be less likely to buy a Japanese product, and 27% for European goods. "The surprise finding was that there's a negative afterglow for foreign products, generally," said Loren Israelsen, president of LDI Group Inc, an industry consulting firm.

Some countries (notably Scandinavia and Germany), are noted by industry experts as being on par or having even higher quality standards than the USA. It is a shame that the Chinese issue seems to have tainted all "foreign" dietary supplements with this concern in the public's mind.


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