Guest Blog Post: Improving Consumer Perception of Beef

August 13, 2010 at 11:33 am 1 comment

From: Jen Gillespie

I love the website http://www.meatingplace.com/ – if you are an agriculturalist, livestock producer, or even just an interested consumer, I definitely recommend signing up on this website where you can find daily news, webinars, industry blogs, and many more industry resources. Every day I get an e-mail with a NewsMakers report that provides me with the daily headlines where I can read the latest news in the beef, pork, and poultry industries. Yesterday, one of the articles featured was ‘Five ways beef should be market to consumers’ written by Rita Jane Gabbett. This article talks about what consumers are looking for when they buy meat—specifically beef. Research funded with beef checkoff dollars revealed several things about consumer perception that can help those in the beef industry better promote their product. Here’s what the study found:

  • Focusing on the “lean” attributes of beef improves consumer perception and rating of beef products—most consumers are seeking out sources of lean protein as they scan the various options available in the meat case at their local grocer. It is important that we educate these consumers on the health benefits of lean beef!
  • Consumers want quick and easy ways to prepare their beef—this goes for both ground beef and whole muscle cuts. This “convenience factor” stems from our fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyles which don’t always provide a lot of time for the preparation and cooking of meals.
  • Consumers want to know about the sustainability of raising beef—in fact, as stated by the article “81 percent of consumers surveyed said that they knew little to nothing about the beef industry.” Patti Brumbach, executive director of the Washington State Beef Commission, warns that the beef industry must not let other interest groups fill this gap in the “information void” faced by consumers. We must speak up and talk to people about beef production, and how producers work to provide not only a sustainable but also a safe beef supply.
  • Social media is a great way to reach “Millennials”—these are consumers born between 1977 and 1998 who value convenience and don’t spend as much time cooking as earlier generations. Because these consumers get their information largely though social media (i.e. twitter, facebook, blogging, etc.), the beef industry needs to reach out to them through this medium.
  • Finally, Brumbach reminds us that it is important to remember the basics—consumers rated taste as their No. 1 concern, followed by good value, safety, and consistency of quality. This one should be easy, as we know that our producers not only provide a safe and high quality product, but one that tastes great, too!

As we work to “agvocate” and get the word out about agriculture, livestock production, and farming it is always important to remember what the consumers are saying. At the end of the day, they are the ones buying the products our farmers and ranchers produce. Demand will always be driven by the opinions and beliefs of consumers—we can help influence consumer attitudes about beef through education and outreach, telling consumers our story.

The opinions expressed in the above post represent the thoughts and feelings of the guest blogger, and not necessarily NYFEA as a whole.

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Entry filed under: Guest Bloggers, Uncategorized.

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