Meat and dairy products: more than 90% of Italians eat them
Survey of the University of Turin's Filierba project
25, Jul 2023
The approach of the new generations towards food of animal origin still reserves surprises. This is confirmed by a survey conducted by the Department of Management of the University of Turin, in the context of Filierba, a project that studies the grass-based food chains of the bovine species, in which animal nutrition is based on the use of polyphytic forage (composed of at least five different plant essences).
1,750 people responded: mainly young people under 25 (81% of the sample), engaged in studies and above all women. The survey concerned the consumption habits and the perception that Millennials and those belonging to Generation Z have of the aforementioned meat and dairy products.
Among the general consumption habits, it is recorded that around 90% of the sample interviewed (average figure) consume beef (86%) and dairy products (93% overall; in more detail: 75% cheese, 69% milk, 65% butter), without however being too involved in their purchases (45% for meat, 58% for dairy products). The two types of product recorded a high frequency of consumption, with 70% of people declaring that they eat meat and dairy products one or more times a week. Among the elements taken into consideration in purchasing decisions, freshness, flavor and methods of production that respect animals and the environment stand out, while aspects considered negligible include the brands of companies and associations for the protection of cattle breeds, those of distribution chains, and products presented as "premium".
The answer to the questions concerning the types of farming is also interesting: 28% of the interviewees stated that they knew the type of feed used, while 72% answered in the negative. More specifically, to the question "How important in your opinion are the characteristics of cattle feed?", the recorded statements highlight a great deal of attention to the absence of drugs, local origin and organic production, but not to nutrition, which instead has a fundamental weight.
More specifically, 32% of consumers are aware of the existence of dairy products and meat from animals fed with fresh (fresh grass) and preserved (hay and silage) fodder of grassland origin, commonly referred to as "grass-hay", "grass-fed" or even "pasture-fed". The knowledge of this derives from information acquired on the net, at the university or from the family. At the moment, however, only 17% of the sample has consumed these products: mainly cheese and meat, and to a lesser extent milk, yoghurt and butter. These purchases are made in order from farms, local shops and supermarkets.