Independent butcher’s prove most trusted on meat, finds study

Independent butcher’s shops are the most trusted retailers of meat, a new YouGov survey has found.

The survey, commissioned by pork levy board Bpex, asked shoppers whom they thought were the most trustworthy retailers of meat.

Ninety-two per cent of respondents said they trusted independent butchers either a lot or a fair amount. Supermarkets were second, with 69%, followed by restaurants 58%, school meals 34%, staff canteens 25% and fast food outlets with 17%.

“It is perhaps no surprise that high street butchers are the most trusted, given the personal relationship they have with customers,” said Mick Sloyan, director, Bpex.  

“Perhaps a more interesting question is why the level of trust in multiple retailers is significantly higher than other outlets, particularly in the foodservice sector. The answer could lie the in the widespread use of on-pack labelling of quality assurance and country of origin, as the survey suggested these were elements consumers really valued. Since the horsemeat scandal many leading retailers have made commitments to shorten and simplify supply chains. This could well be paying dividends now,” Sloyan added.

The survey also gauged the importance of quality assurance schemes to consumers. It found Red Tractor was the most used by consumers, with 40% of consumers saying they used the label. Meanwhile, 60% agreed assurance schemes such as Red Tractor and Freedom Foods gave them confidence in the origin and quality of the meat they bought, while 50% were prepared to pay a little more for meat produced under food assurance schemes.

Meanwhile, 66% of meat buyers agreed it was important to know where the meat they buy comes from.

Sloyan said that seeing high levels of consumer confidence in meat was positive. “Data like this is extremely valuable as it adds to the body of knowledge on consumer trust,” he said. “Despite being two years on from horsegate, British consumers still have some concerns. We will continue to develop our understanding in this area and share our results with the industry so we can improve the position. That said, it is genuinely positive news to see consumer confidence in meat remains high.”  

During Meat Trades Journal’s National Butchers’ Week campaign we asked why consumers why the butcher is better? Watch the video here:


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