Consumer perceptions of fresh meat quality: cross-national comparison
This paper summarises the results of the consumer survey, which had been carried out in six European countries in order to obtain comparable information about consumer behaviour towards meat and perception of fresh meat quality. Quality evaluation of fresh meat in this study is supposed to consist of two phases: a stage previous to the actual purchase and a stage after the purchase while eating the meat. Concerning the first stage, it becomes obvious that for beef and pork the place of purchase plays a major role as quality indicator, while the price was distinctly considered to be least helpful. "Colour" is the most important intrinsic quality cue for all three meats. In the second phase of quality evaluation after purchase, "flavour" is one of the most significant quality characteristics. Concerning the safety of beef, pork and chicken, "freshness" was shown to be the most important indicator. Consequently, it would be advisable for producers and retailers to use appropriate signals in order to communicate "freshness" to the consumers. Concerns about meat are rated very highly in each of the countries. Trustworthy signals of meat safety are required, which are able to reduce the risk felt by consumers.