IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Consumer Preferences for Biopreservatives in Beef and Pork Packaging and Testing the Importance of Product Origin


  • Unterschultz, James R.
  • Quagrainie, Kwamena K.
  • Veeman, Michele M.


Recent food science research on packaging at the University of Alberta has focused on the use of biological agents (biopreservatives) to extend meat shelf life. This potential technology involves the introduction of microbial organisms into food packages to control or inhibit the growth of disease causing organisms such as Escherichia coli (commonly associated with hamburger disease). Biopreservatives are not yet in commercial use. The study evaluated Western Canadian consumers' preferences regarding the potential use of biopreservatives in fresh red meat packages (beef and pork). The study also assessed the effect of product origin on consumers' purchasing decisions; in particular, whether there is an increasing or decreasing probability of purchase if a fresh meat product is labeled as a product of Alberta, product of Canada, product of United States or if no origin is displayed. The research objectives were achieved through the collection and analysis of data from mailed survey questionnaires that included stated preference and scaling methodologies. The study used multinomial nested logit models to examine the potential effect of the identified product characteristics on the probability of a product being purchased. It is found that in aggregate, the potential use of biopreservatives in fresh meats packages is currently not acceptable to consumers, although many consumers are not opposed to research in this area. The price reductions required for consumer acceptance of a product packaged with a biopreservative are not currently feasible. The study also finds that Western Canadian consumers are generally loyal to meat products from Alberta and Canada as a whole, relative to fresh meat products sourced from the US or products without any indication of origin. For high quality beef products, Alberta is seen as a preferred source compared to other sources in Canada. Simulation results suggest that the price of beef cuts from other Canadian sources need to be reduced before consumers will be indifferent between that product and a beef cut from Alberta. On average, a price reduction of about 15 percent is required for a high quality beef product from other Canadian sources before consumers are indifferent to a Canadian labeled product versus an Alberta product. For a high quality pork cut and for ground beef, the study results indicate that consumers generally are indifferent between products from Alberta and products from other Canadian sources. Branding Alberta pork for export to other provinces does not appear to provide benefits at this time. A comparison of a US product and a product from Alberta suggests that the US product price would have to be reduced by at least 35 percent, whether for a beef cut or a pork cut, before consumers would be indifferent between these products from the two sources. There is a strong bias towards purchase of local product in meat consumption by Western Canadian consumers as long as the domestic product is perceived to be of the same quality as the US fresh meat product.

Suggested Citation

  • Unterschultz, James R. & Quagrainie, Kwamena K. & Veeman, Michele M., 1996. "Consumer Preferences for Biopreservatives in Beef and Pork Packaging and Testing the Importance of Product Origin," Project Report Series 24043, University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ualbpr:24043

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alston, Julian M. & Chalfant, James A., 1991. "Can We Take The Con Out Of Meat Demand Studies?," Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 16(01), July.
    2. Pierre M. L. Pelzer & Dale J. Menkhaus & Glen D. Whipple & Ray A. Field & Shawn W. Moore, 1991. "Factors influencing consumer rankings of alternative retail beef packaging," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(3), pages 253-267.
    3. Adamowicz W. & Louviere J. & Williams M., 1994. "Combining Revealed and Stated Preference Methods for Valuing Environmental Amenities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 271-292, May.
    4. McLeod, K. & Boxall, P.C. & Adamowicz, W.L. & Williams, M. & Louviere, J.J., 1993. "The Incorporation of Nontimber Goods and Services in Integrated Resource Management, I. An Introduction to the Alberta Moose Hunting Study Interim Project Report," Project Report Series 232381, University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.
    5. Schmitz, John D. & Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr., 1991. "Food Nutritional Quality: A Pilot Study On Consumer Awareness," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 22(2), June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Lee, Michelle & Unterschultz, James R. & Lerohl, Mel L., 2001. "Supply Chain Competency: Recipe For Cereal And Livestock Marketing In Alberta?," Project Report Series 24050, University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.

    More about this item


    Demand and Price Analysis;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:ualbpr:24043. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.