TOKYO (Kyodo) -- More than 60 percent of surveyed consumers in Japan are buying more domestically produced food than they used to, according to a recent survey conducted jointly by NTT Resonant Inc. and Japan Research Institute Ltd.
The Internet survey also found a noticeable decrease in consumers buying frozen food and eating out, an indication that more people now want to select and prepare food themselves as they prioritize food safety over saving time needed to prepare meals.
Consumer behavior apparently has been affected by a widespread food scare earlier this year resulting from pesticide-tainted Chinese-made frozen meat dumplings and numerous recent cases of fraud involving food passed off as domestically produced or as premium brands, food industry observers say.
Asked about how their eating habits have changed over the past three years, 64.3 percent of the respondents said they are now buying more domestic food.
In addition, 39.3 percent said that they cook at home more often than before.
In regard to eating habits they have come to eschew, 47.2 percent have reduced purchases of frozen food and 46.9 percent now eat out less frequently.
The survey also revealed that people buying fewer canned goods, retort-packed food and precooked dishes outnumber those who purchased more of these items.
To a multi-reply question on anxiety about food, 85.3 percent cited a rise in food prices stemming from grain shortages, followed by unsafe substances possibly contained in food at 80.3 percent and bird flu at 78.0 percent.
The poll was conducted between late June and early July, with 1,059 people responding.