Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), an American nonprofit organisation, has published a three-part report that pulls together two years of research into Precautionary Allergen Labelling (PAL), food market potential and consumer habits. It reveals that 85 million Americans avoid buying products labelled with the top nine allergens because either they or members of their household are allergic to them.
In what they term a ‘halo effect’, FARE say that while 32 million Americans are currently living with food allergies, more than 85 million people don’t buy foods that may put the allergic members of their household at risk. This sector of the population is said to spend $19 billion per year on specialty food products that don’t contain the top nine allergens.
Over 70 per cent of consumers in this group are said to spend three to five minutes reading labels on each item they buy, and more than half find current labels problematic.
FARE is advocating for a universal label that would make shopping easier. They say improving precautionary labels will significantly improve the lives of these families.
In return for clearer, more consistent labelling, shoppers in this group show great loyalty to brands they trust to keep them and their families safe while also saving them time and money.
The Allergic Living website presents a summary of the research and an interview with FARE’s CEO Lisa Gable and Anita Roach, FARE’s vice president of education about their push for standardized voluntary Universal Precautionary Allergen Labelling.