Consumer Preference, Attitude, and Acceptance of Pork
Consumer preference, attitude and acceptance of pork will be the driving influences on how the pork industry responds to consumer demand. From this study, it would appear that consumers are uncertain in understanding the color and marbling qualities that will translate into pork of excellent eating qualities. Slightly over one half of the consumers in this study were able to identify the proper color and marbling needed to achieve the eating quality desired in a pork product. 85% of the consumers in this study indicated that they would be willing to pay more for a pork product that would give them increased satisfaction in taste, tenderness, and juiciness. 83 % of the participants in this study indicated that they were willing to pay more per pound for pork that came from a certain breed or method of production and 71 % would pay more for pork from a “pork certified program” similar to the Certified Angus program in beef . The per cent of participating consumers were willing to pay extra per pound for pork that was: a) naturally grown 63 %, b) from a SWAP certified herd 54 %, and c) traceable back to the producer (43%). Less than one third were willing to pay extra for organically grown pork. Responses in this study indicated that when a certain type of pork product was desired, consumers were willing to pay only a modest addition in the price per pound. This additional willingness to pay extra for the desired product ranged from $0.05 to $0.75 per pound. Even though the survey generally indicated that consumers were willing to pay extra per pound for certain types of pork products, when they were specifically asked to answer, “I generally shop for the most economical pork product rather than paying more per pound for a brand name and/or for a higher quality product”, slightly over one half indicated they did shop for the most economical pork. From this study, it would suggest that an aggressive educational and marketing program will be needed for niche markets to achieve additional pork premiums. And in order to increase consumer demand for traditionally produced commodity pork, producers must be willing to improve pork quality traits. Finally, consumer education on selecting pork must be provided by educational institutions and the pork industry.