Rhonda Miller Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Resources Reviewed


Consumer Attitudes: What They Say and What They Do

Publish Date: April 9, 2010

There are 3,000 US companies producing meat products with combined annual revenue of about $85 billion (Research and Markets Ltd., 2009). They produce about 40 billion pounds of beef products per year, and 30 billion pounds of pork. The objective of this paper is to present an overview of factors that affect consumer behavior regarding pork purchase and consumption which may allow the pork industry to maximize demand for pork in the marketplace and successfully compete with other animal protein sources.

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Consistency In Meat Quality

Publish Date: June 4, 2006

Establishing an understanding of factors that drive consumer acceptance of pork is inherently important to maintaining the competitiveness of pork. It is obvious that if the pork industry produces an end-product that is not acceptable to consumers, consumer will utilize their purchasing dollars for other protein sources. So,what are the important factors or quality characteristics that impact consumer acceptance of pork? Pork quality traits or factors that affect consumer acceptance have, in general, been classified into two areas: 1) visual quality characteristics; and 2) eating quality characteristics, also referred to as meat palatability. Visual pork quality characteristics have been defined as water holding capacity or drip loss, lean color, pH (as it relates to drip loss and color), and intramuscular lipid or marbling. On the other hand, pork eating characteristics or palatability have been defined as juiciness, tenderness and flavor. It has been generally accepted that the visual quality characteristics are by themselves direct measures of pork quality, but they also have indirect association with eating quality characteristics.

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Marbling and Pork Tenderness

Publish Date: June 3, 2006

Consumers ideally desire attractive, economically priced products with desirable color, which are nutritious and healthy, tender, juicy, and flavorful, with no fat or additives. At the point of purchase, consumers visually assess meat products for size, shape, color, fat to lean and lean to bone ratio, texture, and cost perserving (McGill, 1981). They then base their purchasing decision on a balance of these factors, deter-mined by past personal experience, which they perceive will provide assurance of maximum eating satisfaction. Unless meat products pass this initial evaluation, further evaluation will not proceed. Once a product has been purchased, consumers respond to aromatic, taste, and mouthful sensations during consumption, which result in hedonic or value judgments, based upon past personal experience.

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