US - Parents of the 'Millenial' generation are much more concerned over whether their poultry purchases have been responsibly reared than previous generations, according to a survey conducted by MetrixLab on behalf of Foster Farms.
'Millenial' refers to the generation born in the 1980s and 1990s, who reached adulthood after the millenium in 2000.
The survey showed that while availability and pricing are cited as potential challenges, nearly one-third of respondents consider “organic” or “no antibiotics” to be the most important factor in choosing fresh chicken. However, there is confusion over labelling and these products are perceived as niche.
This suggests that there is consumer support for governmental and business moves in the US towards more responsible use of antimicrobials in farming.
Conducted in 2015, the survey of 1,872 West Coast Millennial parents found that once Millennials have children, traditional family values and peer/community influence are the primary factors influencing everything from grocery purchases to cooking and consumption habits – with 74 per cent reporting their criteria has changed a lot due to these factors.
Millennials report their purchasing standards for fresh chicken differ significantly from their parents or previous generations.
Highlights of the research:
- 79 per cent of Millennial parents surveyed agreed that they are much more concerned than their parents’ generation about chemicals, antibiotics and ingredients used to produce food, while 78 per cent say they are more concerned than their parents' generation about nutrition;
- Use of antibiotics in meat and poultry production (54 per cent), hormones and steroids in meats, poultry or dairy products (60 per cent) and food safety (68 per cent) are the top three food issues that survey participants were very concerned about;
- Nearly 80 per cent of those surveyed noted that buying humanely raised meat and poultry is more important to them now than it was in the past;
- 81 per cent of those surveyed agreed that they try to buy poultry that is raised in their state.
Price is perceived as a barrier to widespread adoption of antibiotic-free and organic poultry: 75 per cent of West Coast Millennials view antibiotic-free chicken as expensive.
Nonetheless, a significant proportion of consumers are willing to spend more: while 87 per cent of those surveyed report concern about the cost of food, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) said they have purchased organic chicken three or more times out of their past five purchases.
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