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Agricultural News

Food Demand Survey Shows Lower Willingness to Pay for Steak, Hamburger

Tue, 20 Jan 2015 17:14:17 CST

Food Demand Survey Shows Lower Willingness to Pay for Steak, Hamburger Consumers are becoming more price sensitive. That's according to the latest Food Demand Survey (FooDS) released by the Ag Economics Department at Oklahoma State University. According to Dr. Jayson Lusk who authors the monthly report, consumers willingness-to-pay (WTP) for all beef and pork products decreased from one month ago and it increased for chicken. But overall willingness to pay for all meat products remained higher relative to this time last year.

WTP for steak and hamburger both fell by around 7% and deli ham WTP decreased almost 10% from one month ago. As of January, the dollar figure associated with the Willingness to Pay computation is $7.28 a pound for steak, $4.14 a pound for hamburger, $4.04 for a pork chop and $5.09 a pound for a chicken breast.

Weekly food-grocery expenditures were at $92.76, down slightly from one month ago. Weekly meals away from home increased.75 percent to $49.41. Consumers expect slightly higher meat prices this month and they are expecting a slight a decrease in purchases of all meat products.

The top three concerns of consumers during January was Salmonella, E. coli and antibiotics. The largest percentage jump in awareness from December to January was for swine flu and beta-agonists, while the largest fall over the last month was for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

Consumers have increased their perceived value of nutrition and origin. This month there was a decrease in perceived value of taste and price. Similar to previous months, consumers reported that their main challenge was finding affordable foods that fit within their budget. Of the survey participants, 4.91% reported having food poisoning, a 1.80% decrease from December.

Three new ad hoc questions were added to the survey this month. The first question asked if they supported or opposed government policies with 86 percent supporting mandatory country of origin labels for meat, 82 percent supporting mandatory labels on GMOs and 80 percent supporting mandatory labels on foods containing DNA. The least popular policies were bans on transfats, bans on sales of marijuana, and a tax on sugared sodas.

Participants were also asked “Did you read any books about food and agriculture in the past year?” About 81 percent answered "No" and just over 16 percent responded "Yes". Most consumers didn't remember the name of the book they read. The most popular named books were Fast Food Nation, Food Inc., and Omnivore’s Dilemma.

The monthly online survey tracks consumer preferences and sentiments on the safety, quality and price of food at home and away from home with particular focus on meat demand.

To read the full OSU Food Demand Survey, click or tap here.



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