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UK Consumers Prefer Locally-Sourced Meat

24 August 2012, at 9:44am

UK - A recent report by YouGov SixthSense into consumers’ attitudes towards food provenance has found that the origin of the food is the key consideration for the majority of UK consumers buying meat and poultry products.

59 per cent of consumers prefer to buy UK-sourced meat and poultry compared to imported meat.

The survey found that price is the main consideration when buying meat and poultry products for 39 per cent of consumers.

Most consumers buy meat and poultry on a habitual basis with two-thirds (66 per cent) regularly opting for the same products.

Nearly half (48 per cent) prefer to buy locally-sourced products when they can.

Awareness of the source of products seems relatively high with a quarter (25 per cent) happy to pay more for locally-sourced products, with 34 per cent of consumers buying meat based on its national origin.

Supermarkets v local producers?

Supermarkets dominate food retailing in the UK, and this is apparent across all categories, with around three-quarters of consumers purchasing meat (74 per cent), or poultry (78 per cent) from the major multiples.

However one in five (20 per cent) respondents says that they make the effort to buy meat and poultry at retailers other than supermarkets in order to get locally-reared products.

Although supermarkets dominate, consumers feel they could do more for local food producers.

  • 45 per cent of consumers think supermarkets should make more of an effort to sell locally-sourced foods
  • 40 per cent think supermarkets should sell more foods produced within the UK
  • 31 per cent of consumers claim that they would buy more locally-sourced foods at the supermarket if they knew it was available

Changing meal choices

When it comes to attitudes to locally-sourced food in general, almost eight in ten (79 per cent) consumers believe locally-sourced foods support the local economy, half (50 per cent) believe it is better quality as it has not ‘travelled’ as far, and almost a third (31 per cent) would be more inclined to eat at a restaurant or pub that has locally-sourced food on its menu. Just more than a quarter (27 per cent) would go so far as to say that having locally-sourced food on a menu influences their meal choices.

Commenting on the findings YouGov Consumer Consulting Director on Cushen said: "Our research clearly shows that there is demand for locally-, regionally- and UK-produced foods.

"The question is to what extent food and drink manufacturers are successfully promoting the provenance of their ranges through advertising and packaging.

"In order to capture this opportunity fully, food and drink companies need to review and research their current and future packaging and test whether the right messages are being picked up by consumers."