Track Session at AAEA Annual Meetings Seattle, WA, August 12-14, 2012
Title: Value added meat marketing around the globe: International insights on safety, health, and convenience

Organizers: Dr. Carola Grebitus ( and Dr. Simone Mueller Loose (
Short abstract summarizing the symposium.
In highly competitive meat markets it is important to offer value added products to consumers.  Thus, we need to understand which attributes are especially valued by consumers. This track session will contribute to better understand consumer preferences for value added meats across different countries and simultaneously addresses different stages of the food chain by addressing factors such as breeding, forage (fat content), meat cuts as well as product labelling and packaging. Quality characteristics such as food safety, production practices, health value, taste and convenience have been identified as being of utmost importance to consumers. Comparing consumers’ choices for value added pork and beef across different countries is the main theme and focus of this session. In particular, we will discuss differences in consumer willingness-to-pay for taste versus health in Australia (beef steaks). Canadian consumers’ valuation of pork chops from different production practices will be examined and the economic and ecological dimensions of meat packaging will be related to each other by using results from the US and Germany. Lastly, we will uncover the competitive nature between different beef cuts for Italian consumers. All papers present current empirical studies from different countries around the globe including the U.S., Canada, Germany, Italy and Australia.
Names of speakers and titles of papers with short abstracts.
Taste versus Health: Australian Consumers’ Preferences for Marbling and Fat Content in Beef Steaks
Simone Mueller Loose1 and Wendy J. Umberger2
1 MAPP Dept of Business Administration, University of Aarhus, Denmark; School of Marketing University of South Australia, Adelaide
2 Agricultural and Food Economics, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Australia
Marbling and fat content play an ambiguous role in consumers' preferences for meat.  On one side intramuscular fat (marbling) increases the tenderness and enhances the flavor profile of beef, and should accordingly be positively valued by consumers. Conversely, consumption of saturated fats and trans-fatty acids have been related to increased risks of coronary heart diseases and other health issues, accordingly providing disutility to consumers. Results from a choice experiment with more than 1,800 Australian beef consumers provides insights into how consumers make trade-offs between taste and health aspects of beef related to intramuscular (marbling) and extramuscular (fat trim) fat content and other product information. We observe that consumers generally prefer low levels of extra-muscular fat but differ in their preferences for intramuscular marbling levels. Implications of these findings for health policy and beef marketing will be discussed. 
Maximizing Value of Canadian Traditionally Raised and Conventional Pork Chops: Are Genomic Markers, Meat Quality or Hog Grade Indicators of the ‘Best’ ?
Ellen Goddard1, Heather Bruce2, Graham Plastow2 and Jennifer Janz3
1 Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, University of Alberta, Canada
2 Department of Agricultural Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Alberta, Canada
3 Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Canada
An optimal combination of physical and credence meat attributes can add value to hog production.  Dransfield et al. (2005) suggested that type of production and origin labels provided a more consistent indicator of consumer purchases than meat appearance. In this study Canadian consumer purchase intentions for pork chops (with and without labels indicating production system, country of origin and effective on-farm food safety management) and whether those intentions are consistent with hog, meat and sensory quality measures, is examined. The genomic markers for each hog are also used to assess whether there are markers that can help predict the pork chop with the highest value held by consumers. In late 2009, 200 hogs from a traditionally raised system and from a conventional hog operation, were slaughtered on five different days, meat was prepared for technical and sensory analysis and for economic experiments where consumers chose between eight pairs of packaged pork chops. Apart from the traditional willingness to pay (WTP) for pork from different production systems and with different attribute labels, whether hog grade or meat quality affects WTP is also measured (results are small for meat quality indicators versus labels related to production practices, origin and on-farm food safety). In addition the characteristics of ‘chosen’ (versus not chosen) pork chops, in terms of labels, meat quality, hog grade, sensory quality and genomic markers are examined to see if there are any patterns to the choices.  Although it is difficult for consumers to predict sensory experience from the fresh pork chops they purchase, whether genomic, hog or meat quality indicators can help predict consumer choices is directly assessed.
Innovative Meat Packaging as a Means of Increasing Food Safety and Convenience and Reducing Food Waste
Judith Kreyenschmidt1, Carola Grebitus2, Yvonne Ilg 3, Jutta Roosen4 and Helen H. Jensen5
1 Institute for Construction- und Functional Materials, University of Applied Science Münster, Germany
2 Institute for Food and Resource Economics, Bonn University, Germany
3 Institute of Animal Science, Depart. of Preventive Health Management, University of Bonn, Germany
4 Lehrstuhl für Betriebswirtschaftslehre, TU München, Germany
5 Department of Economics, Iowa State University, USA
Innovative meat packaging offers food safety improvements and more convenience to consumers while, at the same time, helping to reduce food waste. Optimized food packaging strategies include improvements in product specific gas concentrations inside the package, development of active packaging approaches (antimicrobial packaging materials) and integration of intelligent labels delivering information about freshness and remaining shelf life. However, the industry will only implement such new packaging strategies, if they are beneficial from a technological and economic perspective. This means, consumers’ willingness to pay for such new packaging strategies is critical. The objective of this study is to evaluate different packaging strategies within the meat chain from producer and consumer perspective. Firstly, we study the impact of optimization of gas composition, antimicrobial packaging material and integration of intelligent labels on food safety aspects and waste reduction. Secondly, we present data from non-hypothetical choice experiments conducted in Germany and the US to account for consumers’ preferences towards modified atmosphere packaging as a way to increase food safety and convenience when purchasing ground beef. Our results show that optimal packaging strategies have a positive effect on shelf life therewith reducing the amount of food that is thrown away either by food retailers or consumers. In addition results from the choice experiments show that consumers are willing to pay more for longer shelf life and prefer the improved packaging options. Overall, adding value to meat products by means of innovative packaging strategies proves to be beneficial for both producers and consumers.
The Perfect Cut: What do Italian Consumers want from their Everyday Beef?
Gabriele Scozzafava1, Simone Mueller Loose2,3, Armando Corsi3 and Leonardo Cassini1
1 DEISTAF Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Florence
2 MAPP Dept of Business Administration, University of Aarhus, Denmark
3 Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, University of South Australia
There are a large number of different beef meat cuts from a cow, which are produced in a complementary relationship.  Research so far has mainly focused a single cut and was mainly limited to either T-bone steaks or minced meat separately. Although the cuts are produced complementary, they compete against each other from the consumer perspective dependent on price, intrinsic and extrinsic product characteristics as well as intended usage. There is limited knowledge so far about the optimal marketing and pricing of meat cuts simultaneously offered at the consumer shelf. Results from a stated choice online experiment involving a large sample (n=750) of representative Italian beef consumers will be presented. Consumers were asked to choose between different beef cut alternatives (T-bone steak, cutlet and ground beef), which differed in the attributes fat content, breed, quality certification and production technique (organic, standard, GMO free). The cross-price elasticity provides insights to with degree different cuts compete against each from a consumer perspective and how price premiums can be achieved by producers and marketers with certification and labeling strategies. The paper will also provide insights into consumers’ evaluation of health attributes, particularly for consumer reaction to fat content of different beef cuts relative to other product characteristics.