Source: LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY submitted to
CONSUMER EVALUATION OF SELECTED SAFETY AND PRODUCT MODIFICATION ISSUES OF BEEF AND ALTERNATIVE MEATS
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0180107
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
LAB93369
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Oct 1, 1998
Project End Date
Mar 31, 2004
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Schupp, A. R.
Recipient Organization
LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY
(N/A)
BATON ROUGE,LA 70893
Performing Department
AGRI ECONOMICS & AGRIBUSINESS
Non Technical Summary
(N/A)
Animal Health Component
90%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
10%
Applied
90%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
6073260301030%
6073320301040%
6076010301030%
Goals / Objectives
1. Estimate consumer acceptance of fresh mixed ground beef * ground turkey (chicken) meat relative to ground beef alone and identify the attributes of the product that are most important to consumers; 2. Estimate the consumer acceptance of red meats from exotic animals and the attributes of these products that are most important to consumers; and, 3. Ascertain, with respect to household socioeconomic characteristics, the impact of exposure to large scale media coverage of selected beef safety problems on the consumers' short run and long run consumption of beef.
Project Methods
Two separate mail surveys of samples of 3,600 households each will be used to estimate the consumer acceptability of a ground beef * ground poultry meat product relative to selected other ground beef products and consumer attitudes toward exotic meats relative to beef. Appropriate statistical analyses will be used to estimate differences in household responses by selected socioeconomic characteristics of the households. The important attributes of the ground beef * ground poultry meat product and of exotic meats relative to beef will be ascertained for these two household samples using conjoint analyses. Questions covering consumer responses to highly publicized problems of beef products will be added to one of the two questionnaires. Consumer reaction to the accuracies of the reports and their impact on beef consumption will be estimated from these responses.

Progress 10/01/98 to 03/31/04

Outputs
This study initially examined the impact of three actual media-reported, beef safety events on household beef consumption. Mad Cow Disease and packer recalls of fresh beef had negative impacts on beef consumption and led to increased length of cutbacks in beef consumption. Respondents from New Orleans and San Francisco were less likely to have their perceptions of the safety of local beef supplies worsened by the safety scares. Other variables, such as gender, also had impacts on consumer perceptions of the safety of local beef supplies. More frequent beef eaters were less influenced by the media-spread, beef safety scares than were less frequent beef eaters. Individuals with a lower perception of the safety of local beef supplies were more likely to be influenced by the beef safety scares than those with a higher perception of the safety of local beef supplies. This study also addressed the issue of whether consumers perceive beef as being a commodity or a differentiated local product. Based on the responses of households in five major US cities, perceptions of the impact of an assumed E. coli infection of fresh beef at an Atlanta chain restaurant on the safety of local beef supplies did not differ significantly by city, suggesting consumers perceive fresh beef to be a commodity. Another aspect of the project was to ascertain the acceptance of a blended ground beef and turkey product relative to the separate meats. Based on a survey of Louisiana households, a conjoint analysis suggested that the important attributes of the blended product were percentage of beef in the product, product form (fresh vs frozen) and the blended products price relative to 100 percent ground beef. A previous history of consuming a blended beef turkey product was associated with a higher likelihood of consuming the blended product. Actual samples of the blended ground beef and turkey product were evaluated by an untrained 115-member consumer panel. The panel evaluated unidentified samples of 100 percent ground beef, 90 percent ground beef and 10 percent ground turkey, and 70 percent ground beef and 30 percent ground turkey, in both frozen and grilled forms. Differences in ratings by form were insignificant except for the 90:10 product. There also were no evaluation differences in grilled form by the proportion of beef in the sample. Households in five major US cities were mail surveyed to ascertain the most popular definition of an exotic meat product. The most popular definition was "Meat from an animal which traditionally has not been used for meat production." Willingness to taste test and purchase exotic meats did not differ by city.

Impacts
The households indicated that Oprah's anti-burger TV statement did not impact their beef consumption, posing some question as to the power of celebrities to influence consumer perceptions. Women were more inclined to be concerned with the safety of local beef supplies, a finding that should be considered by the entire beef industry. The results relative to the perception of restaurant consumers of fresh beef as being a commodity should be used by the restaurant industry as representing a need to identify the sources of beef served in local restaurants, thus preserving consumer confidence in the safety of beef served in local restaurants when beef safety scares occur elsewhere. While the cost of a blended ground beef and turkey product rises with its beef content, consumers tended to prefer at least 80 percent beef in the blended product, posing a potential pricing problem in marketing the product. Consumers also preferred a fresh product, which is opposite to the form in which most ground meat products containing other than 100 percent ground beef are sold in grocery stores. Consumer panel evaluations of the actual blended product suggest that consumers will not discriminate between 100 percent ground beef and 70 percent ground beef and 30 percent ground turkey on the basis of texture and flavor of the grilled product, inferring that a blended ground beef and turkey product has potential in the marketplace.

Publications

  • Schupp, Alvin, Jeffrey Gillespie, Carol E. O'Neil and Witoon Prinyawiwatkul. 'Impacts of Selected, Media Reported, Beef Safety Problems on Consumer Beef Purchases.' Southwestern Economic Review 31 (Spring 2004):13-30
  • Makienko, Igor, Alvin Schupp, Witoon Prinyawiwatkul, Carol E. O'Neil and Neomi Pavon. 'Consumers Evaluate Frozen and Grilled Ground Beef and Turkey Product.' Journal of Food Products Marketing. 11.4 (2005) Forthcoming
  • Schupp, Alvin, Jeffrey Gillespie, Witoon Prinyawiwatkul and Carol E. O'Neil. 'The Impact of Location on Restaurant Customer Reactions to Beef Safety Events.' Journal of Foodservice Business Research. Winter 2005. Forthcoming
  • Schupp, Alvin, Jeffrey Gillespie, Carol E. O'Neil and Witoon Prinyawiwatkul. 'Media News Reporting and Perceptions of Beef Safety.' Journal of Food Products Marketing. 11.1 (2006) Forthcoming


Progress 01/01/03 to 12/31/03

Outputs
Consumer perceptions of the application of the term exotic to meats were studied through a mail questionnaire sent to 2,000 randomly selected households in Boston, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Denver and San Francisco in mid-2003. The survey ascertained the most popular definitions of exotic meats, factors that attract the consumer to exotic meats and the impact of an exotic label on the consumers consumption of the meat. The most popular definition of an exotic meat was 'meat from an animal which traditionally has not been used for meat production.' Sixty percent of respondents were willing to taste test a new exotic meat in the supermarket and 25 percent would not. Approximately 30 percent of the respondents were willing to purchase the new exotic meat and 85 percent of these valued the new exotic meat at the same or higher price than charged for an equivalent traditional meat (either beef, chicken or catfish). Respondents from Boston were less likely to purchase the new exotic meat. New Orleans respondents were less likely to purchase at higher prices whereas females were more likely to purchase at higher prices. A strong positive relationship was found between willingness to taste test and willingness to purchase an exotic meat. In general, designation of a meat as being exotic reduces the meat's acceptability to the consumer because of the many uncertainties associated with the new meat. New meats derived from non traditional animals are likely to be labeled exotic and be slow to catch on in the marketplace. Ostrich meat is the most recent example of a commonly termed exotic meat.

Impacts
Sellers of meats which are likely to be labeled exotic should offer potential purchasers the opportunity to taste test the new meat in the marketplace. Based on this survey of five United States cities, the Boston area does not seem to be a good area in which to introduce a new exotic meat.

Publications

  • Schupp, Alvin, Jeffrey Gillespie, Witoon Prinyawiwatkul and Carol E. O'Neil. 2003. 'Consumer-Preferred Attributes of a Fresh Ground Beef and Turkey Product: A Conjoint Analysis.' Journal of Food Distribution Research. 34.2:46-52
  • Schupp, Alvin, Jeffrey Gillespie, Witoon Prinyawiwatkul and Carol E. O'Neil. 2003. 'Consumer Perceptions: Is Beef a Local or National Product.' The Louisiana Cattleman. Louisiana Cattlemen's Association. 36.8:8-9


Progress 01/01/02 to 12/31/02

Outputs
A questionnaire was developed, reviewed and revised to ascertain consumer reactions to selected food safety issues involving national and/or local beef supplies. Random samples of 500 households in New York City, Chicago, New Orleans, Denver and San Francisco were surveyed by mail. The respondents reacted to several recent beef safety issues and indicated their response to these issues in terms of change in beef consumption. Qualitative choice models were used to estimate the impacts of socioeconomic characteristics and other pertinent variables on consumer reaction to these actual as well as several hypothesized beef safety problems. Factors which were important in determining the consumers reaction to the actual safety issues were location (city), own risk preference level, rate of beef consumption, and self assessment of the safety of local beef supplies. The respondents also indicated whether hypothetical illness from consuming beef contaminated by E. coli in a restaurant at a specific location would cause them to boycott their local restaurants of the same chain or beef on the menus of all of their local restaurants. Similarly, consumers indicated whether a safety related recall of ground beef from grocery stores in a specific area served by a regional beef packer would cause them to boycott beef in their local grocery stores served by the same packer or beef sold in all of their local grocery stores. The results of the analysis of hypothetical safety problems indicate that many consumers made no distinction as to the location of the safety infraction on their assessment of its impact on the safety of local meat supplies; hence, on their beef consumption. The latter imply that consumers need information on the source of beef handled by local food retailers to make accurate appraisals of the seriousness of media relayed food safety issues involving beef.

Impacts
While cattlemen have argued that specific television statements made by Oprah Winfrey involving her future beef consumption greatly hurt live beef cattle prices, few respondents to this survey credited her TV statements as meaningfully impacting their opinion of beef's safety; hence, on their rate of beef consumption. Packer recalls of beef because of suspected contamination by E. coli caused many more consumers to question beef safety, hence, reduce their beef consumption. The Mad Cow Disease outbreak in England had an impact on consumer beef consumption closer to the packer recall than Oprah's TV statements. Results indicate that the national media has the potential to materially sway consumer purchase decisions by their treatments of food safety issues.

Publications

  • Schupp, Alvin, Jeffrey Gillespie, Witoon Prinyawiwatkul and Carol O'Neil. 2002. 'Consumer Perceptions of a Potential Fresh Ground Beef and Poultry Product.' Journal of Food Products Marketing. Hayworth Press. 8.11:49-62
  • Schupp, Alvin, Jeffrey Gillespie, Carol O'Neal and Witoon Prinyawiwathul. 2002. 'Consumers Distinguish Between Legitimate and Ambiguous Beef Safety Issues.' The Louisiana Cattleman. Louisiana Cattlemens Association. 35.11:5,33,36.


Progress 01/01/01 to 12/31/01

Outputs
Given the findings from the mail survey, a 117-member consumer sensory panel evaluated samples of raw and grilled ground meat containing 70:30, 90:10 and 100:0 (the latter the control) ratios of beef and turkey. Beef flavor, juiciness, oiliness, toughness and darkness of the grilled samples were evaluated using a Difference from Control test. Acceptability was determined using color, flavor, texture and overall acceptability using a nine-point hedonic scale. Consumers perceived less beef flavor, oiliness and darkness from the 70:30 product than the control. Color, flavor and texture influenced overall acceptance and buying intentions. The higher the beef flavor and juiciness the higher the acceptability and willingness to purchase. The higher the oiliness, toughness and darkness, the more unacceptable the product and less the intent to purchase. Over 80 percent of consumers would purchase the 70:30 product if commercially available.

Impacts
These results indicate that consumers found a ground beef/turkey product containing as much as 30 percent turkey meat highly acceptable and worthy of purchase. The 70:30 ratio product contains less fat than 100 percent ground beef yet retains an acceptable beef flavor. Since both beef and turkey carcasses contain large proportions of product that are salable only in ground form, the combining of the two product should prove beneficial to both industries as well as consumers.

Publications

  • Gillespie, Jeffrey, Alvin Schupp, Christopher Davis and Aydin Basarir. 2001. The Changing Structure of the US Livestock and Poultry Industries. 2001 Beef Cattle Research Report. LSU Agricultural Center 31:51-54.


Progress 01/01/00 to 12/31/00

Outputs
A questionnaire was developed, reviewed and revised to ascertain consumer ratings of four potential product attributes (levels) of a combined ground beef and ground poultry product: form (fresh, frozen), identity of packager (processor, retailer), proportion of beef to poultry (50, 70, 90) and price of the combined product relative to the price of regular ground beef (80, 90, 100). The survey was mailed to a sample of 3,400 Louisiana households in April 2000. Approximately 16 percent of the respondents reported that they had previously mixed the two individual products in their home. While 790 surveys were returned, only 309 were useful for the conjoint analysis. The households rated nine orthogonally arrayed product profiles of the potential 36 product profiles. The least preferred profile was frozen, processor packaged, 50 percent beef and priced at 100 percent of regular beef. The most preferred product was fresh, retailer packaged, 90 percent beef and priced at 70 percent of regular ground beef. The relative importance of the four product attributes (i.e., partworths) were: percentage of product that is beef (40.5%), product form (31.8%), product price as a proportion of price of regular ground beef (26.(%) and product packager (0.8%).

Impacts
Hamburger has been hit by consumer health concerns, which has filtered back to the demand for live cattle. The results of this research indicate that a high proportion of beef is needed in the combined product for consumers to give it high marks. While consumers may wish to reduce fat consumption in the meats they consume, they still want the taste and texture of ground beef in the combined product. The consumers desire for a high proportion of beef in the combined product will make it more difficult for the seller to market the combined product at prices significantly lower than for regular ground beef alone.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/99 to 12/31/99

Outputs
A questionnaire to ascertain consumer attitudes toward and acceptability of a mixed ground beef-ground turkey (chicken) product was developed, reviewed and revised for use in a mail survey of 3,600 Louisiana households. Selection of the four rural and four urban parishes was made and the random sample of households was obtained. This list, obtained from the Louisiana Division of Vehicle Registration, was checked for non household names and addresses, resulting in the deletion of 150 business names. The mail out for this phase of the overall project is anticipated in late March 2000.

Impacts
No data or analysis have been obtained at this point. A favorable consumer reaction to this product should benefit both the beef and poultry industries.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period