Consumer Beef Choice Associated with Country of Origin, Finishing Diet and Price22 June 2013
The origin of beef is the most important driver for choice followed by animal feed and price, according to a study from research teams in Spain and Uruguay.
The study on the acceptability of Uruguayan beef for Spanish, French and British consumers and the consumers' beef choice associated with country of origin, finishing diet and meat price, found that beef that is produced locally, from grass-fed animals and lowest price was most preferred.
Uruguayan beef, from concentrate-fed animals and highest price was least preferred.
The study by M. Font i Furnols, M.A. Oliver, and L. Guerrero from IRTA Monells in Spain, C. Sañudo from the University of Zaragoza and F. Montossi,from INIA Tacuarembó in Uruguay looked at the effect of country of origin - local, Switzerland, Argentina, Uruguay - finishing diet (grass, grass plus concentrate, concentrate), and price (low, medium, high) on consumer's beef choice
The choices were evaluated in Spain, France and United Kingdom.
Sensory acceptability of Uruguayan beef from different production systems was also evaluated and contrasted with consumers' beef choices.
The research discovered that origin was the most important characteristic for the choice of beef with preference for meat produced locally.
The second most important factor was animal feed followed by price with preference for beef from grass-fed animals and lowest price.
The least preferred product was beef from Uruguay, concentrate-fed animals and highest price.
Sensory data showed higher acceptability scores for Uruguayan beef from grass-fed animals with or without concentrate supplementation than animals fed concentrate only.
Consumer segments with distinct preferences were identified.
The research team said that foreign country promotion seems to be fundamental for marketing beef in Europe, as well as the development of different marketing strategies to satisfy each consumer segment.
The study is published in the September issue of Meat Science.