There is a broad base of support for soy products, according to an exclusive online survey. Almost 79% of the respondents said they have purchased soy-based biodiesel, food or home products. Moreover, 60% of those surveyed say they promote the use of soy products in their community.
Corn & Soybean Digest (CSD) magazine conducted the survey in early October 2008 and received 593 responses.
Sixty-six percent of survey respondents also indicated that they cook with soy ingredients in their household, and one-third said they consume soyfoods or beverages at least once a week. Another one-third of respondents indicated they consume soyfoods or beverages once a month; 13% said they consume soy products more than once a week.
While survey respondents indicated purchases of soy-based products, 66% said they do not specifically look for soy ingredients in food, beauty, cleaning or other products. As well, 53% said they are not willing to pay more for a product because it has soy as an ingredient. The other 47% would pay more for a product with soy as an ingredient.
Over three-quarters of survey respondents (79%) were neutral to somewhat agreeable that soy-based food products are a healthier alternative to traditional food products. Seventeen percent of those responding to the survey completely agreed that soyfoods are healthier.
The majority of survey respondents indicated that soy-based products are readily available within 30 miles of their home. Soyfood was said to be most readily available (78%), with soy candles (67%), soy beverages (53%) and soy lotions (52%) also ranking high in availability. Seventy-six percent of those surveyed said biodiesel is available close to their home. However, this is down from a similar online survey conducted by CSD in 2005, where 93% of respondents said biodiesel was available within 30 miles of their home.
In the 2008 survey, 51% of respondents said they notice public vehicles utilizing soy biodiesel. City buses, commercial semi-trucks and school buses were listed as those most noted using soy biodiesel.
Among the respondents, 78% were aware that soy can be used to create plastic, and 73% were aware that soy is being used in the foam seats of Ford vehicles.
Two national surveys conducted in 2008 by the United Soybean Board (USB) and soybean checkoff also found support for soy.
Findings from the annual Consumer Attitudes on Nutrition Survey indicated that 85% of consumers view soy as healthy. These consumers are also increasing the amount of soy they eat weekly; more than a quarter of Americans consume soy-based products at least once a week.
Likewise, the National Agriculture Image Survey findings showed that:
77% of consumers favor the use of biodiesel as a source of energy that can meet America's needs in the next five to 10 years.
74% of consumers were more favorable toward biodiesel after hearing it benefits the environment.