Study of the Factors that Influence Consumer Attitudes Toward Beef Products Using the Conjoint Market Analysis Tool, A

Brian Mennecke, Anthony Townsend, Dermot J. Hayes, Steven M. Lonergan
August 2006  [06-WP 425]

This study utilizes an analysis technique commonly used in marketing, the conjoint method, to examine the relative utilities of a set of beef steak characteristics considered by a national sample of 1,432 U.S. consumers, as well as additional localized samples representing undergraduate students at a business college and in an animal science department. The analyses indicate that among all respondents, region of origin is by far the most important characteristic; this is followed by animal breed, traceability, the animal feed used, and beef quality. Alternatively, the cost of cut, farm ownership, the non-use of growth promoters, and whether the product is guaranteed tender were the least important factors. Results for animal science undergraduates are similar to the aggregate results except that these students emphasized beef quality at the expense of traceability and the non-use of growth promoters. Business students also emphasized region of origin but then emphasized traceability and cost. The ideal steak for the aggregate group is from a locally produced choice Angus, fed a mixture of grain and grass that is traceable to the farm or origin. If the product was not produced locally respondents indicated that their preferred production states are, in order from most to least preferred, Iowa, Texas, Nebraska, and Kansas.

Keywords: conjoint market analysis, consumer preferences, country of origin, steak quality, traceability, transactions costs.

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