Beef Checkoff Funded Research Helping to Correct the Misconceptions Surrounding Alternative Meat ProductsWed, 04 Sep 2019 11:23:11 CDT
The rise of alternative meat products is an issue the beef industry has monitored closely. The potential this product has to change the protein landscape has prompted concern among industry stakeholders, resulting in the industry’s active engagement with its advocacy groups including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Beef Checkoff to mitigate any encroachment on beef’s market share. According to Alisa Harrison, senior vice president of global marketing and research for NCBA, the situation is far less concerning than most people realize. In a recent interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, she shared the findings of her team’s market research to put things into perspective and stakeholders’ minds at ease.
“These new products are getting a tremendous amount of media attention. They are the new darling out there which is very normal when new products hit the stage,” Harrison explained. “The bottom line is however, consumers are eating record levels of beef. Beef demand is high and consumers tell us they love beef. Our market research shows that if consumers are trying meat alternatives, it’s not taking away from their beef consumption. They are still eating the same amount of beef.”
The Millennial generation has been credited as the driving force behind the rise in alternative meat products, however, Harrison says this is simply not the case. While Millennials are more likely to sample an alternative meat item, they continue to be one of the strongest beef-consuming segments in the market. Unlike some people’s perception, Harrison says in reality there is not an explosion of vegetarianism or veganism in today’s consumer population. After decades of monitoring, Harrison says the number of people who identify with a non-meat diet has steadily remained within a three to five percent range of the population from a month to month basis while the remaining 95 to 97 percent of consumers consistently embrace a meat-inclusive diet.
“As when any new product comes on the market, people will try it,” she said. “That doesn’t mean that we’re ignoring it. In fact, there are two things we’re doing. One is, we’re reminding consumers of the unique attributes of beef. We’re also trying to clarify to consumers some of the misinformation that’s out there about beef and we’re using Checkoff dollars to do that.”
Listen to Harrison’s complete conversation with Hays about the misconceptions stakeholders have regarding the rise of alternative meat products, 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.
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