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How Australian consumers value intrinsic and extrinsic attributes of beef products

Ardeshiri, Ali, Rose, John Matthew
Food quality and preference 2018 v.65 pp. 146-163
beef, color, consumer preferences, decision making, eyes, fillets, food safety, issues and policy, logit analysis, purchasing, rump, steaks, white adipose tissue, willingness to pay, China, Tasmania
The purpose of this paper is to determine which information cues on beef labels actually attract consumer interest. We applied a discrete choice experiment to investigate 1002 Australian consumer preferences and willingness-to-pay (WTP) for different beef products. Consumers were presented with a novel experiment in which they indicated “how many” they would purchase for mince, diced, roast, and four cuts of steaks (rump, porterhouse, scotch fillet and eye fillet).The results from an ordered logit model showed that cues related to healthy option purchases play a stronger influential role on Australian consumers decision making compared to other beef attributes. Australian consumers have a stronger preference for less marbled beef. Moreover, white fat colour is more desirable than yellow colour. Furthermore, in relation to labelling information, origin of the beef is a key indicator in consumer’s evaluation process. We observed a highly inflated WTP for origin of the beef. For example a WTP of $5.76 for Scotch fillet steak from “Tasmania” compared a WTP of −$14.22 for the same cut from “China”. This finding may be due to Australian consumers using origin as a cue for food safety or quality.We concluded that preferences for beef products are not similar across consumers from different nations and country-specific research is required to illustrate consumer’s preference. Finally, this study provides managerial and policy implication and recommendations to better understand the relative value to the Australian consumer of beef product appearance and labelling information.