Consumers Give Food, Grocery Industries Top Scores

Gina Acosta
Executive Editor
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Consumers Give Food, Grocery Industries Top Scores
The grocery industry is now the second most highly regarded business sector in the U.S.

The food and grocery industries are now the most highly regarded industries in Americans' eyes, ranking first and second on Gallup's annual analysis of U.S. business sectors.

For the first time in Gallup's 20 years of tracking Americans' views of various business and industry sectors, farming and agriculture overtook the former top-ranking industries of restaurants and computers.

"Every type of business and industry has been affected in some way by the coronavirus pandemic," Gallup said on a blog. "The public is expressing greater appreciation for the work of three industries that are crucial to people's well-being: farming and agriculture, health care, and pharmaceuticals."

And groceries.

Grocery, health care, farming and pharmaceuticals are all rated more positively this year than in 2019, although where they rank on the list differs.

  • Farming and agriculture were already among the top-rated industries before 2020, but it has now moved to No. 1 with a 69% positive rating -- an 11-percentage-point increase.

  • The grocery industry was No. 3 last year, with a 43% positive rating. That's an 8 percentage point increase this year.

  • With a 13-point increase to 51%, the health care industry has advanced from the third-lowest-ranked industry to near the middle of the pack. This is the first time in the 20 years of Gallup measurement that a majority of Americans have rated health care positively. The latest reading mirrors the increase in Americans' confidence in the medical system that Gallup found earlier this year.

  • The pharmaceutical industry's positive rating has increased seven points to 34%. The industry is now the second-lowest-rated on a net (positive minus negative rating) basis.

Additionally, the Internet industry has seen a six-point increase in its positive rating to 49%. It still lags behind the computer industry (at 56%), but the gap is narrower than usual.

Rather than engendering sympathy from Americans, the travel industry, which has been decimated by social distancing requirements, as well as by people's reluctance to fly and stay in hotels, has seen its positive rating slip 11 points to 41%.

The biggest slide, however, has been for the sports industry, with its positive score falling 15 points -- from 45% to 30%.

To see all of the rankings, see below.