Meat and poultry consumers have appetites for information

by Bob Sims
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ROCKVILLE, Md. – According to a new report, consumers want the same information about the fresh meat and poultry that they demand from frozen and shelf-stable foods. This applies to products sold at retail and in the foodservice segment, according to Packaged Facts’ recently released report: “Meat, Poultry and Seafood: Restaurant Trends and Opportunities.”

“Perhaps more than ever before, consumers want to know about what's in their meat and poultry, how it was raised and where it came from,” says David Sprinkle, research director at Packaged Facts. “This need to know taps a breadth of concerns related to food healthfulness and sustainable practices."

The survey concluded that 6 out of 10 diners ordering meat or poultry dishes at foodservice say “all natural” is important when ordering. For many consumers, this is a reflection of the desire to keep unnecessary human intervention out of the process that brings meat from the farm to the table.

Sustainability and animal welfare also play prominent roles in purchasing decisions, according to the report. It is likely that consumers use this information to determine the effect sustainability and animal welfare have on the healthfulness, quality and taste of fresh meat and poultry. In addition the report indicated that 50 percent of consumers will likely make an effort to purchase with an eye toward “local” products within the next couple of years.

However, as the food supply chain becomes more global, consumers look at local as a relative term. With all types of food coming from locations worldwide, American consumers perceive US meat and poultry as the best. The “grown in the USA” slogan now carries a perception of higher quality and safety in addition to building patriotism and creating jobs, according to the survey.

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By PETER MUNDY 11/22/2016 4:38:52 AM
And yet, sadly, "all natural" means absolutely nothing in terms of how the animal was raised.