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09.06.2022

New Research: How Claims are Driving Beef Purchases

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Meatingplace July
How many claims can you count? Marketing attributes and label claims have permeated the fresh meat case and restaurant menus as brands seek to differentiate and win sales. But which attributes have the most impact on consumer behavior and how can marketers capitalize on them?

This question was the impetus for Midan Marketing’s newest, self-funded market research focused specifically on the U.S. beef consumer. Today’s marketplace faces no shortage of challenges with inflation at the top of the list. So, Midan set out to help beef marketers better understand how to identify and leverage product attributes to stand out from the crowd.

Midan’s April 2022 survey included a nationally representative sample of current U.S. meat consumers with a variety of motivations and purchase habits. MaxDiff analysis was utilized and involved survey respondents selecting the “best” and the “worst” options out of a given set of 28 possible beef attributes.

The 28 possible attributes or claims tested included those related to quality (e.g., USDA Prime, premium, preferred breed, etc.), production method (e.g., grass-fed, organic, raised without antibiotics, etc.), sustainability (e.g., climate neutral, low carbon, etc.), sourcing (e.g., raised in the U.S./product of the U.S., locally raised, traceable, etc.) and more.

Using MaxDiff allows researchers to obtain a relative ranking for each included attribute option. In general, we learned that USA-raised, taste, price, value and health benefits are the most compelling attributes for beef consumers.

Spoiler alert: When faced with choosing between two beef packages or multiple beef items on a menu, price is a meat consumer’s deciding factor more than half the time. After price, consumers rely on their perceptions of quality-focused attributes such as USDA grade/marbling, how the animals were raised and the brand.

For example:

  • 88% purchase at least some conventional beef.
  • 68% purchase beef with production claims at least some of the time.
  • 62% purchase premium beef.

The great news: 72% agree they can’t imagine giving up the taste of beef. Protecting this valuable equity with consumers is vital to growth and focusing marketing efforts on specific attributes that are most impactful to your target audience is a great place to start.

The results of this survey work are extremely vast. So Midan is making results highlights available as a technical research slide deck and written insights report, along with a one-hour walk-through of the deck by a member of our Customer Insights Team. We are excited to share these learnings with the industry later this month; please click the link below to be notified when the research is available.

Any citation of this data report should be credited as:
Midan Marketing, Beef Attributes Research, April 2022

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About the Author

A Texas A&M grad with both a B.S. and M.S. in Animal Science, Bridget is the new Associate Director, Customer Insights at Midan. In that role, she will lead CIT strategy and insights direction and facilitate high level internal stakeholder collaboration as well as relationships with external clients/vendors. As the former Senior Executive Director, Product Quality & Education at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Bridget is the co-author of articles in several industry publications. When not working Bridget makes and sells cactus, succulent and house plant arrangements and cheers on all Denver and Texas A&M sports teams.
Bridget Wasser