Research

Guiding Product Innovation

More than 80 consumers recently participated in evaluating three new microwaveable beef concepts – steak, seasoned steak pieces, and shaved steak pieces.  Each of these products are fresh and are wrapped in special packaging that allowed microwave cooking in seven minutes or less. Participants in the test sample each prototype in their own homes and provide feedback on each based on overall liking, ease of use, likelihood of purchase, needed improvements and other valuable product information. Following the in-home analysis, a subset of the participants will meet in a central location and participate in focus groups aimed at gathering more in-depth information from them. This information will help guide the checkoff’s new-product development efforts and will be shared upon completion. 

Measuring Consumer Attitudes

On a semiannual basis, the Consumer Beef Index provides the checkoff with valuable insights about consumer attitudes and behavior toward beef. This online survey is fielded on an ongoing basis so the industry can stay attuned to trends on a range of subjects, including beef’s taste, nutrition, safety and convenience. With more than 1,000 consumers completing surveys, beef perceptions remain strong and, in several cases, are improving. In fact, beef attained his highest score ever on one key measurement, measuring whether consumers believe that ‘the positives of beef outweigh the negatives’, or ‘the negatives outweigh the positives.’ Beef’s safety scores also continue to improve, and scores on other measures – price acceptability and taste, for example – remain constant. Average weekly consumption continues to decline, which is reasonable due to the reduced amount of beef available as the supply chain works through historical droughts and begins to rebuild the herd.


For additional information, check out these sites:

Consumers looking for nutrition and dietary information about beef can go to www.beefnutrition.org to order or download materials and research information, or find a schedule of nutrition events and seminars.
 
Consumers, producers and other industry professionals can go to www.beefresearch.org for summaries of checkoff-funded research in the areas of beef safety, human nutrition, product enhancement and market research, projects which provide the foundation for checkoff programs in promotion, marketing, education, information and foreign marketing.
 
Safety is a priority of the beef industry and www.bifsco.org,  houses information about the Beef Industry Food Safety Council (BIFSCo), its discussions and meetings, an application to join the council, and consumer information about beef safety.
 
Finding new convenient cuts is one very successful way the checkoff has helped add value to the beef carcass over the years. In cooperation with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, http://bovine.unl.edu/ is the industry’s primary beef cut resource.
 
Checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance program information is available at www.bqa.org where you can find systematic information about coupling proper animal-husbandry techniques with accepted scientific knowledge to improve the quality of the end beef products.
 
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is a misunderstood but potentially serious animal disease. For the most accurate information, turn to www.bseinfo.org, an informational site housing current information regarding for consumers, producers and beef industry representatives.
 
While never occurring in the United States, www.fmdinfo.org is an informational site housing current information regarding foot-and-mouth disease for consumers, producers and beef industry representatives.

 


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