assessment of consumer perception of fresh beef meat quality

assessment of consumer perception of fresh beef meat quality

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

A consumer’s perception of quality of specific goods and services has long been recognised as an important determinant of their buying behaviour. In particular, ‘perception of quality’ was found to be an important determinant of meat consumption (Issanchou, 1996) and furthermore was influenced by quality attributes associated with product development, convenience, origin of product, animal welfare, safety and health (Gracia and Albisu, 2001; Issanchou, 1996) as well as the eating quality of the meat itself. Following the outbreaks of BSE and additional falls in beef consumption in Europe, a large scale research project compared and contrasted consumer behaviour towards meat purchase and how perceptions of meat quality arose across six European countries (Glitsch, 2000).

Consumers face issues in determining the quality of meat in the supermarket, due to the mismatch in their search for quality indicators and the quality indicators being used by the food system (Jaffe and Gertler, 2006). The generic look of meat and deskilling of the consumer also contributes to the increased difficulty consumers face in choosing a meat product (Jaffe and Gertler, 2006). Assessing meat quality happens through perceived intrinsic and extrinsic quality cue. Intrinsic quality cues are physical aspects of the product, that show as colour, visible fat and cut. Extrinsic quality cues are non-physical aspects of the product, they can be the point of purchase, but also brand name, quality labels and product origin. The quality assessment of meat traditionally has been largely based on intrinsic quality cues, though extrinsic quality cues seem to gain importance in the quality assessment (Grunert, 2006). Especially origin and point of purchase seem to be important extrinsic cues. Origin gives important information about quality perception, same as meat from a butcher is believed to be of better quality (Grunert, 2006). Intrinsic quality is predominantly determined by the fresh appearance and colour of meat. The presentation of meat is manipulated with Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) technique. MAP technique increases shelf life of meat products, from 150% to 400% (Cooksey, 2014). The use of MAP is complemented with Carbon Monoxide (CO), to preserve the colour of red meat, as a bright red colour is preferred by consumers. The use of CO-MAP techniques provide a more uniform and aesthetically pleasing presentation of meat and saves the need of a butcher at supermarkets (McMillin, 2008; Cooksey, 2014). Contrary to this, consumers are less willing to purchase products that have been processed and involve technology.

As Grunert (2016) mentions, consumers have become more demanding and critical towards the food system, resulting in more fragmentation in their food choices. To respond to this, differentiation of quality in food products is offered in order to satisfy the critical consumer. A dichotomy in purchases of meat can be distinguished. Processed (bulk) meat is sold widely, but there is also an increase of demand for information-intensive specialty meat (Grunert, 2006). To differentiate between specialty and bulk meat, added-value is increasingly being used to give the consumer the idea of better quality (Grunert, 2006). Extrinsic quality cues are added-values, as they are not physical aspects of the product, but are related to the product and consumers use them to predict quality (Grunert, 2006). Added value in form of extrinsic quality cues can be brand name, an origin label or point of purchase, cues that guarantee authenticity (Bernués et al 2010). The presence of an in-store butcher could be a solution for consumers that demand information-intensive specialty meat.

Statement of the problem

One of the greatest challenges to developing more successful marketing strategies in fresh beet consumption is gaining a better understanding of the diversity of consumer needs (Onwezen et al., 2012). Consumer perception of fresh beef meatand its products is a critical issue for the meat industry because it directly impacts profitability (Troy et al., 2010). Understanding consumer eating habits regarding the consumption of various protein sources can help the industry to identify target segments of consumers and how to best approach marketing toward those consumers. Not only is it important to identify why consumers follow purchasing patterns and trends, but this can allow the industry to realize and overcome consumer misconceptions while also educating the consumer. Taking into account the impact that various factors have during consumer decision making and their effect on purchasing habits can allow us to better understand what motivates and influences consumers purchasing decisions.

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Updated: 20th June 2022 — 5:01 pm