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Agricultural News

What Do Consumers Really Think About Beef? They Love It... They Just Don't Know Much About It

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 10:33:26 CDT

What Do Consumers Really Think About Beef? They Love It... They Just Don't Know Much About It

In June of this year at the Beef Improvement Federation Conference held in South Dakota, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Vice President of Strategic Planning and Market Research, Rick Husted, presented on the large body of research his organization has conducted to better understand today’s consumers and how to effective market beef to them. Husted explains that this extensive research through focus groups and quantitative work has led to many of the strategies we see in place today. One of the things he has tackled in his work in collaboration with the dollar per head Beef Checkoff, is trying to find out exactly what consumers are thinking about beef. In doing this research, Husted’s team has developed what they call the Consumer Beef Tracker, a continuous consumer survey that helps them monitor the attitudes and perceptions consumers have about beef.

“We talk to 500 consumers every month on a continuous online survey. So, we’re constantly getting data which kind of smooths out any seasonality,” Husted explained. “One of the questions we ask is ‘what is your overall perception of beef?’ You’re always going to have some critics that aren’t as in love with beef as most folks are - but we are about 70% positive.”

The survey includes other competitor proteins in its scope as well. Compared to chicken, the survey has shown that beef is actually seen less positively than chicken by consumers. This is based on the factors that consumers have expressed influence their purchasing decisions including the product’s nutritional value, its affordability and especially its taste and versatility. In addition, the production practices used to make the products are also a contributing factor to consumers’ perception. What Husted has discovered through these surveys though, is that consumers know very little about what actually goes on in the production of beef and other proteins. He says a lot of the ideas they do have about production, are just simply wrong.

“We do that kind of work not just because it’s interesting to know but because we know we have to change this perception, so how do we do that,” he said. “We talk to consumers about that. They just don’t know about what goes on and we see that as an opportunity that we should take advantage of.”

Learn more about the research on consumers’ perception of beef by listening to Husted talk more on the subject with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, on today’s Beef Buzz.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.



Learn more about Husted's research on consumers' perception of beef by listening to today's show.
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