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Consumer Preferences for Amount and Type of Fat in Ground Beef


  • Lusk, Jayson L.
  • Parker, Natalie


Scientists and beef industry participants are investigating ways to improve the healthiness of beef. We report results of a nationwide mail survey developed to determine consumers’ preferences for fat content in ground beef and identify how consumers would most like to improve the healthiness of beef. The results from a choice-based conjoint experiment indicate that consumers place significant value on reducing saturated fat and the Omega 6:3 ratio in ground beef, but were relatively unconcerned about conjugated linoleic acid. The relatively new method of best-worst scaling was used to further identify which methods consumers most preferred producers use to improve fat content in beef. The results indicate consumers preferred feeding cattle a grass-fed diet as opposed to supplementing cattle feed with fishmeal or flaxseed to improve the fatty acid content in beef. Although consumers were receptive to the idea of using genetic testing to breed only those cattle with improved fatty acid content, using cloning to achieve this end, was viewed as very undesirable.

Suggested Citation

  • Lusk, Jayson L. & Parker, Natalie, 2009. "Consumer Preferences for Amount and Type of Fat in Ground Beef," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 41(01), April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:joaaec:48763

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    14. Gwin, Lauren & Durham, Catherine A. & Miller, Jason D. & Colonna, Ann, 2012. "Understanding Markets for Grass-Fed Beef: Taste, Price, and Purchase Preferences," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 43(2), July.
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    21. Lee L. Schulz & Ted C. Schroeder & Tian Xia, 2012. "Studying composite demand using scanner data: the case of ground beef in the US," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 43, pages 49-57, November.

    More about this item


    beef; best-worst scaling; cloning; conjoint; fat; maximum-difference scaling; omega 3 fatty acid; Agribusiness; Demand and Price Analysis; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Livestock Production/Industries; Marketing; M31; Q13;

    JEL classification:

    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness


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