Research with consumers shows that the beef industry faces some serious challenges when it comes to getting today’s younger consumer to eat more beef. Beef has long enjoyed a place of dominance on the dinner plate and in the meat case, but younger consumers are turning to other meats and even plant-based products.
Researcher Anne-Marie Roerink says her research indicates beef faces some serious challenges.
“We research not only consumer attitudes but their behavior both at the store and at home in relation to meat.”
Roerink says, first of all, younger consumers are afraid to venture outside the burger or the steak.
“Beef needs to help younger consumers get more comfortable with things other than hamburger, meatballs, and steak. They need to get comfortable with things like roasts and ribs.”
She adds that many consumers see these cuts as hard to prepare.
Another issue is transparency. Roerink states consumers today want to know more about their meat.
“Where it comes from, how it was produced, what the animals were fed.”
She says that this is an opportunity for producers to connect with consumers and that the cattle industry needs to be more forthcoming with the story of beef, how it is produced and how it can be consumed.
“Transparency is the currency of trust. The more we can show, the more the consumer will trust.”
It all becomes even more important as consumers do more eating and preparing meat at home as a result of quarantine. The Power of Meat study on behalf of the Food Marketing Institute and the National North American Meat Institute is an ongoing project that has been conducted for the past 14 years.