2022 Grain Views & Habits Survey Summary

July 29, 2023

Highlights from AGC's consumer survey on knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to grain

AGC created the Grain Views and Habits Survey in 2021 to gauge consumer attitudes and knowledge about grain, as well as shopping and diet practices. This survey was developed to collect information about consumers’ familiarity with specific grains and grain-related terms, priorities for selecting grain-based products, and consumption vs. avoidance of specific grains. 

AGC members shared the initial survey with their audiences in June 2021, and again with round two in October 2022. Respondents were offered a chance to win grain-based products from AGC members; in 2021 three respondents were randomly selected to receive a box of grainy goodness (shown at right), and in 2022 three winners received a credit towards the purchase of goods from the AGC member of their choice. 

Winner John P. said, “This is very exciting news, thank you! As a proud Ann Arbor native, I would be thrilled to enjoy goodies from Zingerman's Bakehouse!” 

Tara R. said, “Oh my gosh exciting!!! I live right by Dual Citizen so that'd be perfect :)”

Bradley T. said, “Yay! What a fabulous gift. Thank you so much. I'm a huge fan of Laune Bread in Minneapolis. We scarfed down two loaves of bread (their muesli brot is my favorite) and wonderful pastries, including their curry veggie/lentil puff and a bee sting.”   

A Laune Bread Twice Baked Croissant with golden flax ‘Flaxipane’ filling.

We’re happy to share some of the results from last year’s responses. The data gathered from three years of this survey will help guide our efforts to increase consumer knowledge and awareness, ultimately strengthening our regional grainshed.

While most people were familiar with the terms rye, barley, popcorn, oats, and rice, there were fairly large numbers who weren’t familiar with heritage wheat, Einkorn, Emmer, Kamut®, Kernza®, and upcycled or spent grain. 

The number of people who were unfamiliar with heritage and ancient grains  indicates a need for further education efforts. Improving eater awareness of these foods is an opportunity for added biodiversity in a farmer's crop rotation. Reminder that you can learn more about grains and terms like ‘heritage’ from AGC’s Learn and Grains 101 webpages.

Above, we see a summary of those who know what a specific grain is in addition to those who ate it from the first chart. Notice that the trend line for “don't know what this is" is much more even compared with the chart above where the missing responses for ‘I know what this is’ result in the 'don't know' responses being a bit more random. XYZ.... 

In a “select all that apply” question about consumers’ priorities when they purchase grains, nutrition, local farming, organic farming, and health of local economies were the most important factors. Zero waste, small farming, regenerative farming, soil health, and carbon footprint were most often selected as mattering “a little”, while non-GMO farming was most frequently selected as mattering “not much”.

While the “Priorities When Purchasing Grains” question asked generally about grain purchases, the figure above shows the responses to a similar question focused on regional grain purchases. This question allowed respondents to choose only one answer and the most frequently selected option was values alignment, followed by localness, and then nutrition. 


Thanks for taking the time to browse through these results!

We’re eager to get a third year of data in this set, and in future years will take a fresh look at the types of questions we should continue asking, or adjust.

For inquiries about this data or future AGC efforts in this area, please contact Communications Manager Elena Gutierrez Byrne: ebyrne@graincollaborative.com.

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