Consumer trust in nutritional claims made by food and drink companies has fallen, according to industry analyst Datamonitor.

In the US and rest of Europe, 86% of consumers said that they have become more distrustful of corporations within the past five years. According to the survey, consumers are showing scepticism of all things commerce.

Less than half of consumers in the UK (44%), Italy (49%), Spain (46%) and Sweden (38%) trust nutritional claims nutritional claims made by food and drink companies. However, in Holland (61%), Germany (56%) and France (55%), the majority of consumers considered the companies trustworthy.

Datamonitor consumer markets analyst Daniel Bone said: “These findings should be of considerable concern to the industry. Not only does it undermine attempts to develop relationships with consumers, it also hinders the chances of future new product development.”

Professional endorsement and a good track record in business ethics ranked as the most important trust building credentials for consumers in the survey, together with recommendations from friends and family.

“The consumer packaged goods industry in particular is suffering from a ‘trust void’. These survey statistics are merely a snapshot of the overall negativity that characterizes contemporary European and US consumers,” added Bone.

“Addressing concerns and scepticism with regard to product safety, product efficacy claims, advertising and corporate behaviour will all be crucial.”