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You and your red meat consumer Prof Hettie Schönfeldt School of Natural and Agricultural Sciences Current Issues Little & declining knowledge of the positive role of red meat in nutrition and health Environmental impact of the industry Convenience, indulgence, traditional product

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You and your red meat consumer

Prof Hettie Schönfeldt

School of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

current issues
Current Issues
  • Little & declining knowledge of the positive role of red meat in nutrition and health
  • Environmental impact of the industry
  • Convenience, indulgence, traditional product
  • Value for money

Identified problems:

    • Lack of education & communication along the red meat chain
    • Negative influence of media (nutrition, health & environment)

Brussels, 2009

current issues3
Current Issues

Increased globalization of the red meat industry


New food trends are observed

Provides a challenge to red meat industry:

  • Increased possibility of international collaboration & alignment
  • Encourages change in all sectors – “from farm to plate”
  • Opportunity to increase consumer knowledge and thus consumption

Brussels, 2009

1 increased possibility of international collaboration alignment
1. Increased possibility of international collaboration & alignment
  • Globalization gained importance due to market liberalization & technology
  • Severe consequences for market structures & strategies
    • From agriculture & food processing to food retail & service
    • Increased market concentration & density
      • worldwide consumer preference – increase in large food companies
      • regional differentiation – increase in specialist products
  • Meat consumption continually increasing
    • Increased impact on import / export + production
  • The global system emphasizes:
    • Grain-fed cattle in feedlots
    • Special breeds that can graze more marginal & fragile habitats
    • Use of growth hormones and antibiotics
    • Environmental and social impact
    • Government subsidies & policy
    • International alignment in standards & policy
major meat producers 2002
Major Meat Producers 2002





Source: USDA

world meat trade
World Meat Trade

Source: FAO

the impact of trade liberalization
The Impact of Trade Liberalization

(1,000 MT)

U.S. Beef Exports 1970-2000

China PNTR (00)

Uruguay Round (95)

Canadian Free Trade Agreement (89)

Japan Beef-Citrus Agreement (88)

Tokyo Round (78)

Korea Beef Agreement (93)

North American Free Trade Agreement (94)

Japan SPS Agreement (84)

summary increased possibility of international collaboration alignment
Summary: Increased possibility of international collaboration & alignment
  • The world market for meat products is growing
  • Exporters have cooperated in opening markets for half a century
  • Producers, exporters, importers and other role players should continue to cooperate in non-traditional ways to “raise all ships”

US Meat Export Federation

2 encouraged change in all sectors from farm to plate
2. Encouraged change in all sectors – “from farm to plate”

Consumers of today:

  • Curious: searching authentic experiences more than products
  • Realists: (very) careful to the quality/price relation of the acquired product/service
  • Social: interested in relationships and situations that create “community”
  • And then,…… informed (very),…… autonomous (they feel like deciding),…….. ethical….
the south african consumer
The South African consumer
  • Population of 46 million people of which 79% are black Africans
  • Classified according to LSM (Living standards measure) groups:
    • A marketing research tool to gain better understanding of the socio-economic status of individual / group
    • SA is segmented into 10 LSM groups (10 being the highest standard and 1 the lowest)
    • People are segmented according to their standard of living
      • E.g. degree of urbanization, ownership of cars and major appliances etc as variables
the south african consumer market lsm classification source saarf 2004
The South African consumer market:LSM classification(Source: SAARF, 2004)

35 % of LSM 6 to 10 are black

the su lsm segments proportion of sa population and average monthly income saarf 2005
The SU-LSM segments: Proportion of SA population and average monthly income(SAARF, 2005)

Dynamics in the SA consumer market

- 45%


+ 14%

(+ 6%)

+ 40%

(+ 26%)

+ 36%

(+ 28%)

Comparing 2001 to 2008

Comparing 2001 to 2007

Vermeulen, 2005

household growth exceeds population growth
Household growth exceeds population growth

+16% growth in population




26% Increase



(2.18m HH)









meat consumption patterns
Meat consumption patterns
  • Meat is a favourite and popular food in the diet
  • However, the popularity of red meat is globally declining in favour of white meat and other non‑meat proteins
  • SA Consumption (per capita)

Red meat decreased and white meat increased

(Abstract of Agricultural Statistics, 2008)

meat consumption patterns19
Meat consumption patterns
  • Price difference contributes to this phenomenon
  • Perceived health risk associated with the consumption of products considered to be high in total and saturated fat
  • Detrimental effects on health such as increasing cholesterol levels and increasing health risk
  • Concern about the link between high saturated animal fat intake and CVD as well as certain types of cancers
estimated total annual cash expenditure on major meat products per household per lsm group 2005
Estimated total annual cash expenditure on major meat products per household per LSM group (2005)

Vermeulen, 2005


In South Africa

Decrease in the consumption of animal fats

the south african red meat consumer
The South African red meat consumer

Changes over time

  • Increasing living standards
  • Increase in household numbers, but decrease in people per household
  • Increased prevalence of food trends
    • General trend towards white meat
    • Decreased intake of animal fats
people buy meal solutions not parts of dead animals
People buy meal solutions, not parts of dead animals

Reasons for food/meal choice:

  • “it’s a family favourite” } Indulgence
  • “a treat/indulgence”
  • “it’s good for you” } Health
  • “I’m on a diet”
  • “It’s quick to prepare/no hassle” } Convenience
  • “easy to wash up”
  • “Environmentally friendly” } Going green
  • “Natural”
international consumer food trends
International consumer food trends

These trends overlap:

Indulgence /



Ethics / environment


consumer food trends
Consumer food trends

Trend 1: Health

  • Prominent dimensions:
  • General wellbeing
  • Dieting
  • Bioavailability
  • Specific health issues
  • Supplements
  • Reflected in…
  • Natural
  • Functional promises
  • (natural & ‘plus’ claims)
  • ‘Minus’ claims

Consumer food trends

Trend 2: Convenience

  • Time-pressed consumers
  • Usually combined with health and/or indulgence
  • Prominent dimensions:
  • Ready-meals
  • Fragmented eating
  • Children nutrition
  • Reflected in …
  • Product innovation
  • Packaging innovation
  • Distribution innovation

Consumer food trends

Trend 3: Indulgence

  • Excitement, diversity, sophistication
  • Prominent dimensions:
  • Product presentation
  • Taste, flavour
  • Culture foods
  • Ethnic foods
  • Reflected in …
  • Product & packaging
  • Labeling
  • Novel ingredients –wild and underutilized foods
  • Novel combinations
  • Texture
  • ‘Culture’ foods

Consumer food trends

Trend 4: Going ‘green’

  • Environmental sustainability
  • Social sustainability
  • Less important globally
  • For example:
    • Organic
    • Free range
    • Fair trade
    • Food miles
    • Carbon footprint
    • Biodiversity
  • Reflected in …
  • Local
  • Seasonal
  • Traditional
  • Credence values
south african consumer trends a new product perspective
South African consumer trends(A new product perspective)

Global trends reflected in the local food market:

Vermeulen, 2005


Food Trends

Encouraged change in all sectors – “from farm to plate”


2 encouraged change in all sectors health
2. Encouraged change in all sectors - HEALTH
  • Image of meat as good for you (UK):
the image of red meat as a healthy choice
The image of red meat as “a healthy choice”
  • Inline with food trend: HEALTH, need to change image of red meat as a “healthy choice as part of a balanced diet”
  • In terms of the South Africa population:
    • Obesity:
      • 56.2% of the adult population overweight or obese (Demographic and Health Survey, 2003)
    • Undernutrition
      • 30.9 % preschool children stunted (Short for their age)
      • 50 % of children consume ≤ half the RDA for vit A, vit B2, B3, B6, folic acid, calcium, iron & zinc (NFCS, 1999)
      • Poor Vit A status: 75% children & 25% women
      • Poor iron status: 16% children & 20% women
      • Inadequate zinc status: 45% of children

(NFCS, 2005)

in terms of undernutrition red meat is a nutrient dense food
In terms of undernutrition: Red meat is a nutrient dense food
  • Meat is an excellent source of protein containing all the essential amino acids
  • Good source of many vitamins & minerals

e.g. iron, zinc and the B-vitamins

  • In leaner meat the nutrient content is higher, as fat dilutes the nutrients in the protein matrix
  • With the high prevalence of nutritional deficiencies, the higher percentage of nutrients in lean red meat, increases the positive health image due to consumption
implication of reduction in fat content of red meat
Implication of reduction in fat content of red meat

SA beef – need for new data

The Heart Foundation and Cancer Foundation states that the fat content of food products consumed should be less than 10%

The implication:

Many meats, according to recent composition data, in fact lies within the recommended fat range

Due to breeding, slaughtering and preparation changes

SA lamb

encouraged change in all sectors convenience
Encouraged change in all sectors - CONVENIENCE
  • Meat species is rarely the main driver of purchase (UK)

What is the meal occasion?

(what’s my budget / how much time do I have)

Which meat am I going to buy?

Which cut?

Which cut?

Which species?


Current SA industry



E.g. Bone in Products



Had something done

E.g. Boneless


Product is ‘Enhanced’

E.g. Marinated, Basted,

Crusted, Extra Trim

International + encourages change in SA


Vacuum Skin




Half or Full Sleeve


encouraged change in all sectors indulgence
Encouraged change in all sectors - INDULGENCE

Increased consumer trend towards:

  • Sense of simplicity
    • Back-to-basics is becoming an indulgence
    • Natural ingredients
    • Clean label foods
    • More natural ingredients
    • Continue to cook at home
  • Authenticity & region specific
    • Not just enough to regionally position, but also based on ingredients from that region
  • Increased trend for new and exotic flavors


  • Hand Made
  • Raw added value
  • Stuffed & or Marinades
  • Extra Matured
extra tender lamb
Extra Tender lamb

Exclusive to Superquinn

The cuts undergo a revolutionary method of maturing which achieves an increased level of tenderness and flavour…………for those seeking that little bit more – extra tender, extra taste, extra special.

Evaluation carried out and concluded that day 10 optimum in terms of tenderness without adversely affecting product quality

encouraged change in all sectors going green
Encouraged change in all sectors - GOING GREEN

People are increasingly becoming nostalgic about simpler times & remain environmentally conscious

  • Sustainable gather-systems
    • Locally sourced
    • More sustainable
    • Fairly traded
    • Carbon footprints
  • “Free from”
  • Naturally produced
  • Hormone free – linked to health trend

3. Opportunity to increase consumer knowledge and thus consumption

  • Consumers are confused about who and whatto believe regarding food choices IFIC Foundation, 2004
  • Media – mixed messages
  • General belief among consumers that:
    • Red meat contributes towards obesity and other lifestyle diseases
    • Red meats are hard to prepare & inconvenient
    • The red meat industry is not environmentally friendly

 I turned Vegan May 7, 2007! It wasn't difficult to give up animal products. Yes ~ that's all meat, milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, soup broths, etc.

increased need for industry involvement
Increased need for industry involvement

Industry involvement:

  • Decrease in fat percentage of red meat over time
  • Limited change in terms of convenience, indulgence and “going green”
  • Need for more directed marketing

To Have a Product

South African Red Meat


To Have a Story to tell

  • Lower in fat
  • High in essential fatty acids
  • High in various minerals and vitamins
  • Offers choice & innovative products on the market
  • Naturally produced
  • Convenient, traditional, indulgent
  • etc

Lower in fat

  • High in essential fatty acids
  • High in various minerals and vitamins
  • Offers choice & innovative products on the market
  • Naturally produced
  • Convenient, traditional, indulgent, etc
  • To have a proper communication strategy
marketing of red meat
Marketing of red meat

Increasing Consumer Preference

  • Through successful communication strategies
  • Increase perception of red meat in line with the main food trends
    • Health
    • Convenience
    • Indulgence
    • “Going green” (naturally produced / hormone free etc.)
  • Working with others in the supply chain to maintain and grow consumer demand

Example: Presentation

& Packaging

  • Meets Legal Requirements
  • Attractive
  • Hygienic
  • Low Cost
  • Re Cycle
  • Simple & easy to Shop


Going green




Retailer Branding

E.G Labelling




‘Only Contains’ Statement

Country of Origin



Photo Illustration

Product Name

Staff Storage



Customer Storage




Cooking Time

Customer Use by


Pack Price & Packers code

challenges for the future
Challenges for the future
  • Sustaining production + supply – improving efficiency
    • Need for international collaboration for R&D
  • Red meat production, the environment & climate change
  • Consumer Expectations
    • Leaner & more healthy meat
    • Need to focus on new customers and marketing segments (younger generation & Muslim society)
  • Innovation is essential
    • Need to capitalise on trends
      • Boneless products
      • Products which fit convenience trends
      • Moving away from traditional cuts to easy to prepare cuts with more enjoyment and health
    • Need for education

Brussels, 2009


Behaviour change

5. Consumers

4. Health professionals

3. Industry

Science Driven

2. Opinion leaders

1. Science

  • Create a positive environment for international and local co-operation
  • Confront environmental issues
    • Research, development, changes & communication
  • Highlight advantages of red meat consumption
    • Nutrition and health
    • Human satisfaction
    • Part of a modern, pleasant, convenient and mixed diet
  • Differentiate, create and add value for growth in market
  • Move to younger generation target market
  • Reinvigorate domestic market
    • Rise in retail standards
    • R&D and communication of the findings
    • Specialized generic consumer marketing for behavior change

Thank you

Prof Hettie Schönfeldt