Consumers are responding favorably to the Certified Angus Beef brand on a quality and recognition standpoint, according to a nationwide research study released Tuesday.
The survey, ordered by CAB and conducted by Firebox Research & Strategy of Beachwood, Ohio, found that 75% of those interviewed ranked the CAB brand logo as representing the highest quality Angus beef available. Consumers also said they would pay more for it in restaurants and grocery stores.
The research builds on findings from 900 in-store intercepts in 2007 and focus groups in 2010. The latest information adds results from 900 U.S. store intercepts in 2013, as well as a Web survey of 1,100 consumers from the United States and Eastern Canada.
Participants in the studies were age 35-54, 75% women and 25% men, with annual household income of $50,000 or more, who consume beef at least once or twice per week.
"The studies provide two very different views of the consumer," says Michael Schiller, managing director of Firebox Research & Strategy. "The web survey allows us to look at the consumer market for premium beef, while the in-store survey gives us great insight into customers who shop at stores carrying the Certified Angus Beef brand in their meat case."
The brand's logo advanced to 94% consumer recognition, more than double the closest ranking brand and 3 percentage points higher than in 2007. Given a list of beef grades and brands by name, awareness for the Certified Angus Beef brand name rose to 92%, which is 5 points higher than in 2007.
The CAB brand is regarded by consumers as the best of any grade or brand of beef, the survey found. The brand's logo outranked other Angus brands and received the highest quality rating by 75% of consumers surveyed.
When it comes to the brand's name, nearly 6 in 10 say they expect beef items marked with the Certified Angus Beef brand name to be the "best or top quality beef."
"Positive perception is essential," says Tracey Erickson, the CAB's vice president of marketing. "Consumers have a very strong perception of the brand's quality and associate it with the logo when dining out and shopping at grocery stores."
The Web study yielded nuggets for retailers, with more than 4 out of 5 grocery shoppers willing to pay at least $1 more per pound to upgrade to the Certified Angus Beef brand. And, when consumers were hypothetically given $20 for their next beef purchase, they preferred the brand by 2-to-1 over competing brands.
Similar results for foodservice indicate that nearly 70% of restaurant patrons are willing to pay $3 more to upgrade an $18 beef menu choice to the Certified Angus Beef brand. The results also show that nearly 8 in 10 consumers say restaurants offering the brand are perceived as better in quality than those that don't.
In a separate 2013 web study surveying 999 U.S. consumers, nearly half would be willing to drive up to 30 minutes to purchase a Certified Angus Beef brand offering at a restaurant and another 1 in 10 would travel longer. For purchases at a grocery store, 3 in 10 would travel up to 30 minutes and nearly 1 in 10 would travel longer.
"This a valuable message for the thousands of retailers and restaurateurs dedicated to featuring the Certified Angus Beef brand," adds Erickson. "When it comes to beef, premium quality wins consumer loyalty."