Meat

Background

Fresh and responsibly produced meat matters most

The latest survey in a string of consumer research reports showed that most Colombian millennials choose poultry meat that is natural, fresh and produced with animal welfare in mind. Millennials worldwide are considered influential consumers because of their purchasing power and interest in food, health and well-being.

To learn about food beliefs and preferences in various parts of the world, Delacon has commissioned various consumer surveys among millennials. The philosophy behind the research is twofold. On the one hand, it provides insight into consumer trends and on the other, it offers producers new perspectives on how to improve product properties and labelling. The latest survey, conducted in Colombia, offered valuable insights for businesses all along the whole feed-to-food chain in the poultry sector which will help them to meet changing consumer preferences about what animals are fed and how food is produced.

Freshness, health and animal welfare are the main priorities when buying meat, directly followed by a preference for animals raised on natural feeds, while the use of phytogenics is also considered important. - Photo: Werner Dedl
Freshness, health and animal welfare are the main priorities when buying meat, directly followed by a preference for animals raised on natural feeds, while the use of phytogenics is also considered important. - Photo: Werner Dedl

Priorities

When buying poultry meat, the respondents found the following to be key factors influencing their purchasing decisions. Freshness, health and animal welfare are the main priorities when buying meat, directly followed by a preference for animals raised on natural feeds, while the use of phytogenics is also considered important. When asked what comes to mind first when they hear that chickens have been raised on natural feed, 40% think of ‘natural/organic’, followed by ‘no chemicals/additives’ (20%) and ‘healthier for the consumer’ (12%). Opposed to the positives, hormones are a major concern when buying chicken, along with poor animal welfare.

Colombian millennials (32% of respondents) believe that the phrase or words “responsible antibiotic use” means that antibiotics are only used when necessary. This was noted more frequently in the 27-29 age group, compared to those aged 36-39. Over 40% of the respondents associate “no growth-­promoting antibiotics” with a natural growth rate, ­followed by ‘natural’ (15%) and ‘no chemicals’ (10%).

Findings from past surveys

A previous Delacon survey conducted in Brazil in early 2020 revealed that Brazilian millennials are also very food-conscious. 85% care very much about the quality and source of their food. This survey highlighted 3 key findings that animal protein producers should be aware of:

  • Brazilian millennials (85%) care very much about the quality and source of their food.
  • More than half of Brazilian millennials look very closely at the label when buying chicken.
  • Animal welfare and sustainable practices are most ­important to Brazilian millennials.

After a survey of US consumers in 2019, new label messages were created that could attract a premium price among a key segment of millennials. The Delacon survey shared 3 findings that point to an opportunity for added value when messaging millennials:

  • Nearly half of all millennials say that knowing their meat or poultry was fed phytogenic ingredients would have a ­positive impact on their brand of choice.
  • An environmentally-friendly message creates credibility and intent to purchase.
  • Using specific words within messaging can contribute to product differentiation and a memorable brand. Words that gained the most traction and ranked as being unique from phytogenic fans included ‘cinnamon’, ‘environmentally’, ‘essential oils’, ‘herbs’, ‘functional ingredients’ and ‘thrive’.

Another Delacon survey conducted in Thailand in 2018 revealed that Thai consumers look closely at product labels, gravitate to products “raised without antibiotics ever,” and are interested to know if phytogenics have been used. It appears that knowing phytogenics “leave no harmful residue” would be influential to the majority. The survey further found that phytogenics on the label would have a positive impact on 82% of Thai millennial foodies and 71% of Thai millennials overall.