Survey says: consumers seek lean, tender, flavourful meat options

veal vegetable roll upsWhen it comes to meat, Ontario consumers want protein that is lean and low in saturated fat – yet is still tender and flavourful.

This was the finding of a market research survey conducted recently by the Ontario Veal Association (OVA) to determine consumer perceptions and knowledge of veal and its health benefits.

The study also showed that although most consumers are unaware of veal as a lean source of protein, the majority is more inclined to purchase it in the future once they heard of its health benefits.

“Food plays a key role in our health and well-being,” says Judy Dirksen, an veal farmer in Midwestern Ontario and President of the Ontario Veal Association. “Veal is a healthy menu choice that still meets consumer demand for tenderness and flavour.”

The study results also showed that price ranked low amongst attributes consumers were looking for when buying veal, which opens up promotional opportunities for the meat to new market segments. The OVA was interested in determining how veal compares to other protein choices, whether people are consuming veal at home or in food service settings, and which attributes consumers prefer when eating veal.

The telephone survey was focused on very specific audiences – including heart patients and fitness trainers – in order to support other OVA activities that are focused on positioning veal in the health segments.

“The competition for a share of the consumer food dollar is fierce, so understanding what the public thinks and knows about your product is crucial,” says Dirksen. “The results of this research allow us to look at new avenues to promote veal, which will lead to new opportunities for our sector.”

The survey was in part through the Ontario Research and Development (ORD) program, an initiative of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to help promote long term viability and competitiveness of Ontario’s farming sector. ORD is delivered in Ontario by the Agricultural Adaptation Council.

To learn more about veal, you can read a post I wrote on the real deal about veal following a presentation I attended for chefs and food writers a couple of years ago.

You can also check out www.farmissues.com/virtualtour to visit a real Ontario veal farm right from your own home.

Photo source: Ontario Veal Appeal

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