Horsemeat: Survey shows trust in quality-assured beef is strong

Eighty per cent of consumers now believe it is important to know where their burgers come from, and trust in fresh, quality-assured beef remains strong, according to a recent YouGov survey.

Around 75% of the people undertaking the survey claimed their eating habits would not change due to the horsemeat scandal, and that they would continue eating fresh beef cuts and mince.

Fourteen per cent of respondents, which is double the figure of January, claimed they would purchase their meat most often at butchers from now on and 69% have less trust in retailers generally as a result.

The percentage of respondents who believed it was important to know where the meat in their burgers came from was up 7% from last month.

Commissioned by Eblex, the survey showed 82% believe an assurance mark on burgers is important, up only 4% since January, but the importance of price has fallen.

However, Asda boss Andy Clarke claimed consumers have switched to vegetarian options following the horsemeat scandal. According to the Daily Mail, Clarke claimed meat-free products had seen a lift and that consumer trust had been dented.

Eblex sector director Nick Allen said: "The regular research we do to monitor what influences consumer choices and what those choices are has shown that confidence in fresh beef products remains strong, with 76% of respondents saying they will eat the same amount of fresh beef, 71% saying the same for fresh mince. Four per cent said they would eat more fresh beef and beef mince."

"There has understandably been huge media coverage of the issue of horsemeat being found in certain processed meat products, with complicated supply chains involving overseas suppliers. In those circumstances, messages on what is affected and what to buy can get confused.

"However, we have been working hard, along with other industry organisations, to push the message that shoppers can have confidence in fresh, assured red meat products, such as those with the Red Tractor label or Quality Standard Mark, where the provenance and traceability are clear, and it does appear that the message is being heard.

"On the other side of the equation, though, frozen beef products have understandably taken a hit."


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