Red meat: perceptions matter

Added 2 months ago

Positive ‘red meat’ stories have carried the day recently in Farmers Weekly.

One piece describes impressive results from the ‘Taste Pure Nature’ campaign run by Beef + Lamb NZ. On the one hand, their research indicates one-third of Californians are intentionally eating less red meat. On the other hand, these consumers are comfortable with the premium prices of NZ meat, with one-third of lamb consumers having bought NZ lamb in the last six months (dated per survey) and 20% having bought NZ beef.

So why are they trying NZ meat?

Perception matters – more than 40% consider NZ a country that pursues sustainable agricultural practices. As reported by Farmers Weekly, “Nearly half agree that food being produced by regenerative agricultural practices is important to them mainly because it is better for the environment, for their health and because it tastes better.”

The ’taste better’ aspect seems to be less played up in media reports. It would be great to see more of that … and to see it better documented. It’s great to ride on reputation regarding our farming practices … but when it comes off the grill, does it win the taste test?

The second piece we noticed concerned some documenting of the nutritional benefits of red meat.

On this, Farmers Weekly reported on research conducted by AgResearch, the University of Auckland , Massey University and the Riddet Institute. This work examined the nutritional value of various diets fed test participants, and found that red meat was a better source of protein than a processed plant-based alternative. Basically the body processes the red meat protein better, producing more biological value.

Says scientist University of Auckland researcher Dr Andrea Braakhuis: “Our project is showing that red meat is probably a better source of protein for the body than highly processed plant-based products promoted as meat alternatives.”

You can bet your favourite lamb rump that heaps of research, on both sides of the table, is underway to prove – or disprove – the nutritional benefits and health claims of meat alternatives. Back to the California research … 53% of consumers report adding more plant-based foods into their diets in the past year.

Just as NZ enjoys important perception advantage as a ‘better’ food source, all the buzz around meat-less meat is creating perception advantage for plant-based alternatives at the moment.  

Game on!






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