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Consumer Awareness of and Preferences for Bio-active Lipid Enhanced Beef

By Sean B. Cash, JoAnn Kingston-Riechers, Yanning Peng, Diane McCann-Hiltz, Yulian Ding and Wendy Beaunom

Abstract

This study investigates consumer attitudes toward functional foods in the context of CLA-enhanced beef products. The objectives of this study were to identify the following issues: 1) consumer awareness and attitudes towards nutrition, functional foods, and other emerging factors; 2) consumers´ major health concerns; 3) consumers´ beef consumption patterns; 4) the importance of health information and food labeling in affecting consumer purchasing decisions; 5) consumer attitudes, acceptance, and willingness to pay for CLA-enriched beef products; 6) and consumers´ demographic information. “Choice experiment” survey design methodology was used to collect the data. Choice experiments have become an important and recognized tool in marketing and non-market valuation research, and have several advantages over other research designs. The main advantage of choice experimentation is that it allows the analyst to separately identify the value of an individual attribute of a good. In this study, we utilized several small touch-screen computers that allowed us to bring our computer-based choice experiment study to eight supermarkets in four cities across Canada. 800 self-identified beef consumers participated in the survey. Key results include the following: i) Consumers think that food choices are important for preventing chronic disease and they are least concerned about the use of functional foods for disease prevention or health promotion; ii) The awareness of CLA is relatively low compared to Omega-3 and other nutrients and fats in foods; iii) In relation to meat with regular CLA content, respondents would pay $2.51/kg more and $2.74/kg more for meat with a CLA enhanced label and a CLA enriched label, respectively; iv) In comparison to all other respondents, respondents in Quebec appear to be willing to pay a higher a premium for meat with CLA enhanced or enriched labels; v) The consumer target segment for CLA enriched beef products can be characterized as health conscious consumers who are already familiar with CLA.Consumer behavior, demand for novel food, functional foods, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Health Economics and Policy, Livestock Production/Industries, D12, I12, Q11,

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