Beef Survey: Traceability as a winning weapon to support consumption
Cortelazzi: useful indications for the sector and promotion
09, Nov 2023
Beef remains an essential ingredient in the diet of people from Mantua, who not only buy it mainly at butchers, but who want to know everything about the slice (both when it is the main course and when it represents an ingredient in other preparations). Furthermore, red meat is cleared of accusations of affecting environmental phenomena. This, in summary, is the picture that emerges from the research project "The meat consumer: expectations and consumption styles", conducted by Professor Debora Viviani, researcher in Sociology of cultural and communicative processes at the University of Verona, on the basis of 342 questionnaires filled out during the 1st Lombard Red Meat Festival of Castel Goffredo, organized last September 16th by the Lombardy Beef Producers Consortium.
“The sentiment and vision of consumers and families represent a particularly useful interpretation for farmers and the meat supply chain – declares Primo Cortelazzi, president of the Lombardy Beef Producers Consortium – also in light of the communication campaign that was decided at the Meat Table convened last Monday in Milan by the Lombardy Region and which we will define in more detail in the coming weeks to promote Italian meat, traceability, the sustainability of a product that cannot fail to find space within a healthy and balanced diet" .
The profile of the interviewees The 342 participants in the research are divided quite evenly: 53.5% are women, while 46.5% are men. With respect to age, approximately half of the sample (134 subjects) falls within an age range between 41 and 55 (44.4%), while 22.2% is represented by respondents aged 56-70 years and 20.2% from subjects aged 26-40 years. The least represented age range is that of respondents under the age of 25 (7.9%) and over 71 (5.3 percent).
The most represented families within the sample are those made up of 4 people (including the interviewee), which are 121 (35.7% of the total). 24.7% are made up of three people and 22.6% are made up of two people.
55% of those interviewed reside in the province of Mantua and 35.6% in the province of Brescia and, on a regional level, 325 out of 342 are from Lombardy.
Despite widespread hostility on the part of a noisy fringe of public opinion towards beef, sometimes resulting in periodic disinformation campaigns, the consumption of red meat holds up. “A signal that transmits hope to the farming system – comments Cortelazzi – and which could indicate that perhaps the lowest point in red meat consumption has been reached, after years of contraction”. The results of the questionnaire say, in fact, that 68% of the sample declared that they had kept their meat consumption the same as before in the last year, with 11.85% having increased it and 20.2% having increased it in the last 12 months decreased it.
“It is very likely that this decrease is linked to the economic crisis and the increase in inflation, which in the last year has put Italian families under pressure, with the consequence of a rarefaction in purchases of red meat”, analyzes Professor Viviani .
The butcher's shop wins As for the purchasing channel, there is no doubt, the expertise of those who can recommend the most suitable cuts for the different solutions, suggest tasty preparations, quick or more elaborate cooking, wins. The questionnaire highlights, in fact, that the meat consumed in the family is purchased mainly from butchers, for as many as seven consumers out of 10 (69.2% of the sample). This is followed (20.4%) by purchasing meat in large-scale retail trade, while 8.1% declare they turn to the farmers' market.
Traceability (even when meat is an ingredient) In almost all cases the consumer wants to know what he is buying, so much so that traceability is considered essential information for the consumer, whether it is information in general or in the case in which the red meat represents an ingredient of the dish to be to consume.
In the first case, the sample assigns very high values to the importance of traceability, 89.8%, with almost 6 consumers out of 10 (59.2% of the sample) indicating the maximum value (value 10 on the scale from 1 to 10).
Likewise, traceability is also important if red meat is an ingredient used to prepare a dish, as in the case of the "mantovanissimi" agnolini. In fact, it has a lot/very much importance for 90.2% of the interviewees, who positioned themselves on values between 7 and 10 and with 49.7% of the interviewees crossing the maximum value of 10.