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Eating quality of beef, from different production systems, assessed by German, Spanish and British consumers

Oliver, M.A., Nute, G.R., Font i Furnols, M., San Julian, R., Campo, M.M., Sanudo, C., Caneque, V., Guerrero, L., Alvarez, I., Diaz, M.T.
Meat science 2006 v.74 no.3 pp. 435-442
beef, beef quality, palatability, meat tenderness, flavor, food acceptability, consumer acceptance, beef cattle, animal production, production technology, provenance, imports, consumer surveys, consumer preferences, Hereford, finishing, meat aging, Uruguay, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom
The acceptability of beef from Uruguay (UY), based on eating quality, was compared with beef produced in different European countries (Germany, DE, Spain, ES and United Kingdom, UK). Consumer tests were conducted in DE, ES and UK (each comprising 200 consumers) using 'Hall Tests'. In each country four samples were evaluated, two from Hereford steers from UY (finished at 2 and 3 years) and two from local meat (the same meat sample aged 7 or 20 d). Consumers evaluated tenderness, flavour and overall acceptability using 8-point category scales. Hierarchical cluster analysis, highlighted the existence of different clusters of consumers. Two main clusters were identified in DE and UK. The main cluster identified in DE, was labelled as Prefer foreign-imported beef (n = 128). These consumers preferred (P < 0.05) the samples from UY_2y in terms of tenderness and overall acceptability. The other cluster was labelled as Prefer local beef in terms of flavour and overall acceptability (P < 0.05) and comprised the majority of consumers from ES (n = 176) and UK (n = 153) and the cluster 2 from DE (n = 69). UK, cluster 2 (n = 33) that did not discriminate between origin and ageing time of beef. These results indicate that consumers did not prefer the same type of meat within the same country and it is possible that there are individual preferences that could lead to the concept of market segmentation being based on taste preferences. It would appear that Uruguayan beef would be very acceptable in Germany and to a lesser extent in Britain and Spain, although further studies are required that include labelling information.