Protecting and Improving Beef Taste

US - Bridget Wasser, senior director of meat science technology for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program, says the industry has been tracking beef tenderness for 20 years. Why is this important? Ms Wasser says consumers may be willing to pay a premium for guaranteed-tender meat products.
calendar icon 16 February 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

"Well, the product enhancement committee is totally focused on beef quality and using checkoff funds to support research that will improve beef quality which in turn, is meaningful to the performance of the beef product in terms of taste, tenderness and consistency. And the better quality product we can deliver to our consumers, the better their eating experience is going to be and the better beef demand’s going to be overall.”

Ms Wasser says the committee was able to experience firsthand the results of their checkoff dollars that are invested in research programs through a sensory taste test during this year’s Cattle Industry Convention.

"In fact, we’ll be including a beef-tasting exercise or sensory exercise in the program because it’s kind of a nice break in the program and a nice opportunity for committee members to see the results of the research that they’re involved in but really to see it come to life. To be able to taste something and then understand the research behind sensory and beef flavor and be able to see it come to life versus just seeing a research study on paper.”

Beef checkoff research shows the elements that matter to consumers about beef have not changed for several years with ‘great tasting’, ‘a good value for the money’ and ‘extremely safe to eat’ being the most important to consumers. Ms Wasser says product enhancement research continues to improve beef’s performance with consumers.

“When we look at the market research that the checkoff does and evaluations with consumers on what their preferences are and their demands are, every time we look at that data coming back, taste is the Number One driver of consumer demand for beef. And so this is the one checkoff program and joint committee that is focused on protecting and improving beef taste. And that’s where it finds its place in this whole checkoff realm.”

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