Tuesday, 23 April 2024 11:55

Meat wellness, well done

Written by  Leo Argent
More than 90% of participants across the two countries indicated interest in purchasing red meat to improve their wellness status. More than 90% of participants across the two countries indicated interest in purchasing red meat to improve their wellness status.

Newly published research shows overseas consumers have a strong interest in improving their wellbeing through eating red meat, highlighting opportunities to achieve a premium for products with proven health benefits.

Crown research institute AgResearch partnered with Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and Spain’s Centre for Agro-food Economy and Development to survey attitudes among red meat eaters in Australia and the United States towards physical and mental wellness related to consumption of red meat.

When asked, more than 90% of participants across the two countries indicated interest in purchasing red meat to improve their wellness status, while about 85% indicated their willingness to pay more for red meat for potential wellness benefits.

“While survey participants from both countries shared a common view on improving physical energy as a key wellness aspect, their specific interests differed,” says AgResearch senior scientist Carolina Realini.

“American respondents showed greater interest in improving cognitive function and mood through the consumption of red meat, whereas Australians emphasised joint and gut health.”

The United States and Australia both play crucial roles in the domestic and global red meat market, serving as major producers and exporters of red meat and having substantial red meat consumption per capita.

Realini says the nutritional benefit of red meat such as beef and lamb is already well-documented in previous research. The proteins, vitamins and minerals from red meat are known to be vital to good health throughout life, with links to brain function and mood.

While Realini says there is still some way to go to be able to provide compelling and specific evidence of physical and mental wellness benefits from red meat consumption, the survey suggests a promising opportunity for producers to tailor products to align with consumers’ wellness preferences and individual needs.

“We know that red meat producers in New Zealand are currently facing significant challenges and are actively looking for opportunities for better prospects in the future. As researchers the onus is on us to provide trusted, robust scientific evidence that supports the recommended levels of red meat consumption as beneficial for wellness and clearly communicating the benefits of these tailored offerings to consumers. Such evidence is crucial to enable the red meat industry to make health claims about their products with confidence, while policymakers are encouraged to promote healthier food choices.”

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