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HPR Food Study

Since 2003, Hunter Public Relations has commissioned an annual study to identify the top food news stories according to the opinions of Americans. Now in its fifteenth year, this year’s food news study also set out to quantify the impact of these stories at every step of the consumer engagement continuum by measuring the influence on consumers’ awareness (are the stories remembered?), consideration (do they change opinions?), intent (do they change behavior?) and advocacy (are they shared with others?).

Read the press release

Download the Hunter PR 2017 Food News Study

The top five most recalled news stories of the past 12 months are as follows:

1. Amazon Acquires Whole Foods Market

Amazon*, the world’s largest online retailer, made major headlines on June 16, 2017 when it announced its plans to acquire Whole Foods Market. The e-retail giant, which has dabbled in brick-and-mortar store concepts over the past couple of years, agreed to acquire 460 Whole Foods Market locations in the US, Canada and the UK in a 13.7 billion-dollar deal, Amazon’s biggest acquisition to date.

2. Another Food Safety Scare at Chipotle

Chipotle’s food safety issues made national news late in 2015 and throughout 2016. In 2017, another food-borne illness outbreak affected several Chipotle patrons at an outlet near Washington, D.C., forcing the location to temporarily close and sending the chain's stock down more than six percent.

3. Nearly 2.5 Million Pounds of Tyson Chicken Products Recalled

Tyson recalled nearly 2.5 million pounds of chicken products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens on ready-to-eat breaded chicken sold to food-service customers in 30 states.

4. Trump Takes Aim at School Lunch Guidelines

In March 2017, the Trump administration began to unravel Michelle Obama’s program to promote healthy school lunches nationwide by loosening the restrictions on salt and requirements of whole grains. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that school meals would no longer have to meet standards created by Mrs. Obama, granting schools more flexibility to serve foods they choose.

5. Restaurant Chains Now Deliver

With third-party delivery services like Postmates and Task Rabbit coming onto the scene, restaurants leveraged the opportunity to test out delivery at select locations, which means consumers can now order anything from steak to McDonald’s and have it delivered to their door. Now, that’s a happy meal.

*As of May 1, 2017, Hunter PR is an Agency of Record for select Amazon U.S. retail businesses. Hunter PR was not involved in the dissemination of any information surrounding the acquisition of Whole Foods Market.