Multiple Labels Appearing in US Grocery Stores

CANADA - A three state survey has shown a variety of Country of Origin Labels are appearing on pork and beef products in US grocery stores in response to new US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling regulations, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 10 March 2009
clock icon 2 minute read
Manitoba Pork Council

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To assess the response of US meat packers and retailers to new US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling, representatives of Manitoba Pork Council visited five grocery stores in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota to see what labels are being used and to survey US Consumers.

Manitoba Pork Council Chairman Karl Kynoch reports the five stores that were checked were carrying a variety of labels.

Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council

Out of the five major stores we did find labels that said product of US

There was strait product of the US both in pork and beef and then in the pork also there was labels that said product of US and Canada and then in the beef side they had labels there that also said product of US Canada Mexico.
So the one thing we found out is that all three labels are showing up in the stores in the US so that was very interesting to see that the majority of packers are actually already doing the joint labelling.

But at the same time when we were in the stores, we kind of hung around to see some of the consumers that were shopping for the product and one of the questions that we asked consumers when we saw them was what do they base their buying decisions on.

And basically number one was price.

They're looking for price.

They're also looking for a dependable company.

If they were comfortable buying Hormel product, they kind of stuck with that.

Also quality was another thing that came up.

But the one thing that did not come up from all of the consumers that we talked to was the country that the product comes from.

When we would prompt them about that, about the only thing they would say is, well yea I guess that's important but, when we talked to them about Canada, there was not one consumer that had any concern with product coming out of Canada.

Mr Kynoch says, while it appears the stores have no problem carrying Canadian product, at the end of the day it will depend on whether the stores want to continue to carry it and whether the packers want to continue to use two or three different labels.

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