An informed consumer is the ethanol industry’s most effective tool for increasing awareness of the cleaner, renewable fuel. A national survey by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council, or EPIC, found that when respondents are provided with relevant information about ethanol, their interest to purchase increased by nearly 20 percent.
“These findings demonstrate that when consumers are presented with the simple facts about ethanol-enriched fuel, they’re more than willing to make a commitment to the environment and American jobs,” says Reece Nanfito, senior director of marketing for EPIC. “It’s critical that the industry maintain a clear and concise public awareness campaign.”
Another interesting finding of the research was that a majority of Americans reject the food versus fuel debate concerning ethanol. Only 10 percent of respondents agreed with the argument that using corn for ethanol will limit the food supply.
“From our research it appears that consumers are taking a very common sense approach to food versus fuel,” says Tom Slunecka, executive director for EPIC. “When explained how agriculture and the production of corn is advancing in this country, few people feel there is any concern of a loss of the availability of food or fiber to consumers.”
Ethanol’s impact on the economy and the environment struck a chord with respondents. A strong majority — 61 percent — considered it a positive that ethanol benefits the American economy. Fifty-eight percent believe that ethanol-enriched gasoline is better for the environment than standard gasoline. Respondents found “better for the environment” as the most relevant benefit of ethanol.