Today’s food landscape is undergoing constant change due to new food technologies and shifting consumer preferences. Generational differences on perceptions of GMOs or “genetically modified organisms” typically added to food, for example, are increasingly apparent as certain Gen Z populations have a more favorable view of GMOs when compared with other grocery shoppers.
In places such as Germany, Great Britain and the US, roughly half of grocery shoppers show skepticism that GMOs or food additives can be healthy. But there’s also a degree of acceptance for this type of food technology in each country, especially among younger generations of grocery shoppers.
In Great Britain, less than a fifth of adults mainly or partly responsible for grocery shopping tell us that they think that GMOs are not that unhealthy (18%). Yet the views of Gen Z adults who do the grocery shopping are more finely balanced – 33% of them say that GMOs and additives aren’t that unhealthy, compared to 37% who disagree.
Compared with perceptions in Great Britain, GMOs seem to be more readily accepted in the US, with a third of American grocery shoppers thinking GMOs are not that unhealthy (33%). Again, generational differences hint a potential shift in consumer perceptions toward GMOs. Gen Z grocery shoppers in the US are significantly more likely than American shoppers overall to think that GMOS are not unhealthy (47% vs. 33%). Notably, Gen Z grocery shoppers are more likely to agree (47%) than disagree (33%) outright that GMOS are not that unhealthy.
The generational trend that occurs in the US and Great Britain does not seem make its way over to Germany, however. German grocery shoppers, including Gen Z, tend to express a comparable rate of acceptance for GMOs, with roughly a third of both groups saying they agree this specific food technology is not that unhealthy. But although there is little difference between Gen Z and the general population in Germany, acceptance rates are still up there with the higher rate displayed in Great Britain among Gen Z.
:The data was collected using YouGov Profiles, an audience intelligence and targeting tool available in 55+ markets. The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in the United States, Great Britain, and Germany. All interviews were conducted online between March 2020 and March 2021 and the results have been weighted to be nationally representative of each country.