The checkoff funded Consumer Beef Index survey tracks key consumer perceptions of beef and spotlights key consumption trends. In March, 2012, survey results were collected from 1300 consumers.
Findings from the CBI survey indicated that some areas of satisfaction were increasing, while price and nutritional aspects affected consumption patterns.
Questions in the CBI survey included weekly in-home and out-of-home beef consumption, selection of beef as a choice among other meats, satisfaction from beef and awareness of beef, among others.
The survey found that value perceptions of beef were low, with self-reported servings of beef per week declining from 2.3 times per week in 2011 to 2.1 in 2012. Eighteen percent of the consumers noted that they actively decreased their use of beef and cited price as the main reason.
Good news from the survey results came from the area of taste and quality. The number of consumers listing beef as "great tasting" has grown to an all-time high. Taste reasons have been noted among the 18% of consumers that reported an increase in beef consumption.
Safety is a category that is also getting higher marks. However, the study notes that there is a consistent negative gap between the industry's perceptions and the importance that consumers place on safety.
Finally, nutrition was cited as the second main reason to curtail beef consumption, however recent scores have also shown that perception of beef's balance between taste and nutrition is receiving better scores overall.
CBI reports that overall, most drivers of demand for beef are strong. But, consumers have been hit hard with higher prices that has been exacerbated by increased frugality due to the recession. The study found that customer satisfaction was relatively static, with 75% of consumers reporting that the positives of beef outweigh the negatives.
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