The image of meat is on the rise again

This year's Vion Consumer Monitor shows: Perception of meat as an indispensable food is increasing again - especially in the age group up to 34. Megatrends in the meat industry, regionality and transparency, remain in place - in addition, high quality and freshness are the most important purchase drivers. Demands on climate protection have arrived at just under 40% - individual aspects such as sustainable production (65% agreement) and CO2 footprint (39% agreement) are relevant to consumption in different ways.

Posted on Aug 15 ,00:05

The image of meat is on the rise again

This year's edition of the Vion Consumer Monitor shows: the image of meat is slowly recovering. In the representative consumer survey by Vion Food Group, conducted by Consumer Panel Services GfK, 61 percent of respondents agree with the statement "Meat is an indispensable component of nutrition". That is 4 percentage points more than in the special inflation survey in autumn 2022 and the trend is towards the pre-corona level (2019: 63 percent). A look at the socio-demographic data reveals that young families/couples without children and young families with small children in particular are increasingly agreeing with this statement compared to 2022. In addition, almost half of the younger Fridays for Future generation sees added value in consuming the protein-rich natural product: 46 percent of those under the age of 34 agree with the statement “meat is healthy”. In the last regular recording it was still 38 percent. On average, 53 percent support this statement (2022: 51 percent). The reputation of animal-based foods is slowly disappearing.

Regionality and transparency with pleasure, seal downstream

The megatrends regionality and transparency are still in demand: if they have the choice, three quarters of the meat buyers surveyed prefer meat from the area (2022: 78 percent) and 60 percent (2022: 65 percent) with transparent origin. Animal welfare (64 percent, 2022: 69 percent) and sustainability (65 percent, 2022: 71 percent) also see more than half of the meat buyers surveyed as important purchasing criteria. Despite these claims, the importance of seals is declining. This year, only 54 percent agreed with the statement that seals that offer added value (e.g. regional, without genetic engineering, organic) are important to them when buying meat. Last year it was 59 percent.

Yes, sustainability, but not yet focused on individual aspects

Sustainability is and will remain a major issue when buying meat. However, there are differences in the importance of the individual aspects of sustainability. Although more than 65 percent say they buy sustainably produced meat when given the option, around 60 percent do not need any further information on the carbon footprint at this point in time. In the area of responsibility for the restructuring of the German meat industry, e.g. B. Measures for more animal welfare, number of animals per farm, etc., the respondents agree with almost 60 percent: That is the task of politics. 43 percent even state that they are aware of concrete political plans, such as animal husbandry labelling.

Wanted: Fresh and high-quality meat at a fair price

When buying meat, quality and freshness must match. Consumers regard this as the two most important purchasing criteria. Followed by good value for money. A good piece can also be more expensive, as 70 percent of those surveyed confirm. In times of inflation and price increases in food retailing, fewer consumers consider meat in supermarkets (29 percent) and discounters (38 percent) to be too cheap. In the special survey on the subject of inflation last autumn, the statement that meat was too cheap met with approval from 31 percent (supermarket) and 41 percent (discounters) of those surveyed. However, only 8 percent of respondents think that quality standards are higher in large slaughterhouses than in small slaughterhouses.

"We are very surprised by this assessment. Large slaughterhouses in particular are subject to the strictest controls and independent certifications and set quality standards for the entire meat industry. We see a great need for clarification here", says Willhelm Habres, Director Sales Trade & Marketing Beef at Vion, who has been responsible for the company's Consumer Monitor (VCM) for many years.

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