Tenn., Feb. 1, 2007 – For ground beef lovers, the only thing better than one burger might be the opportunity to choose from a variety of new ground beef options that are not only good tasting – but good for you, as well. And findings from a recent consumer attitude survey and a ground beef taste test, funded in part by the beef checkoff, indicate that that option holds appeal for today's consumer.
The first study,* an online survey of young and adult consumers, found that the majority enjoyed eating ground beef, saying they “loved it or liked it a lot.” This response is not particularly surprising, since ground beef is the dominant beef product nationally both at retail and foodservice. Ground beef accounts for 46 percent of retail beef volume sales and 63 percent of all beef volume used in foodservice.**
Between 47 and 52 percent of teen and adult study respondents, however, expressed concerns about the health benefits and fat content in ground beef.
“Ground beef is our core product,” said Cattlemen's Beef Board member Dr. Dick Sherron, a Texas cow-calf producer and vice chairman of the checkoff's Joint Research and Knowledge Management Group. He also chairs the market research working group. “And as an industry, we're always working to create products that fit the needs and lifestyles of our customers. A lot of consumers love the idea of a great-tasting burger that is very lean.”
Online responses set the stage for a second study—which asked 226 children and 214 adults to taste test a 95-percent lean ground beef patty and two other marketplace offerings. The test took place at Food Perspectives, a nationally recognized sensory test site in Minneapolis, Minn., and was partially funded by BPI Technology Inc., a South Dakota company that produces 7 million pounds of lean, boneless beef a week. BPI put its new 95-percent lean product up against a standard quick serve restaurant (QSR) patty and one from Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS/school lunch program).
In short, the new 95-percent lean BPI patty outperformed its competitors across all sensory measures, including overall appeal, aroma, color, flavor, grilled flavor, texture and juiciness. As a net result, anticipated purchase intent is dramatically stronger for the BPI patty than for its competitive offerings – just over half of all kids and adults (54 percent) said they would purchase the lean BPI product, compared to 36 percent for the QSR patty and 31 percent for the AMS patty. Overall, 83 percent of respondents said the idea of a “95-percent lean burger that's healthy for you and tastes great” is “extremely motivating and appealing.”
For more information, or to view executive summaries of these studies, visit www. beefresearch.org.