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Consumer Preferences for Amount and Type of Fat in Ground Beef

  • Jayson L. Lusk (a1) and Natalie Parker (a1)

Scientists and beef industry participants are investigating ways to improve the healthiness of beef. We report results of a nationwide mail survey developed to determine Consumers' preferences for fat content in ground beef and identify how consumers would most like to improve the healthiness of beef. The results from a choice-based conjoint experiment indicate that consumers place significant value on reducing saturated fat and the Omega 6:3 ratio in ground beef, but were relatively unconcerned about conjugated linoleic acid. The relatively new method of best-worst scaling was used to further identify which methods consumers most preferred producers use to improve fat content in beef. The results indicate consumers preferred feeding cattle a grass-fed diet as opposed to supplementing cattle feed with fish-meal or flaxseed to improve the fatty acid content in beef. Although consumers were receptive to the idea of using genetic testing to breed only those cattle with improved fatty acid content, using cloning to achieve this end, was viewed as very undesirable.

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Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics
  • ISSN: 1074-0708
  • EISSN: 2056-7405
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