A Pilot Study of Halal Goat-Meat Consumption in Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is a relatively large market for goat meat. As in most metropolitan areas around the U.S., goat-meat consumption has grown steadily in Atlanta over the past decade (Northwest Cooperative Development Center 2005; Nettles and Bukenya 2004). This growth is attributed to the influx of immigrants from goat-meat-eating countries into the U.S. over the same period (Gipson 1999). The increase in demand for goat meat has made the U.S. a net importer of competitively priced goat meat from Australia and New Zealand into major U.S cities such as Atlanta (USDA-FAS 2006). The fact that goat-meat imports from Australia have steadily increased over the years makes markets such as Atlanta of particular interest to both Georgia goat-meat suppliers and meat-goat producers. The goat-meat market, however, is highly segmented (Nelson et al. 2004; Mclean-Meyinsse 2003). Recognition of the diversity among Atlanta goat-meat consumers raises interest in identifying preferences of particular segments. One such segment is the Muslim consumer. However, very limited information is available to help assess the preferences of Muslim consumers in the Atlanta goat-meat market. This study focuses on the Muslim segment of actual goat-meat consumers in the metro Atlanta area. Contrary to earlier assertions, we hypothesize that Muslims eat goat-meat for cultural reasons and not for religious reasons. Furthermore, we assert that Muslims are not a single homogenous niche group and should not be treated as such in marketing. Thus this study examines goat-meat consumption patterns among Muslims in metropolitan Atlanta. Insights gained in this study benefit meat-goat producers and consumers in Georgia.
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