Red meat consumption varies by population density

Consumer research shows rural populations are the greatest consumers of red meats.

Mintel, a large, consumer research firm, recently conducted a survey on consumer perceptions, purchasing practices and consumption of red meat. The survey was conducted with individuals from across the United States and included urban, suburban and rural areas. One of the interesting trends from the research was that red meat is more widely accepted and consumed in rural areas. Rural residents were the population who most often reported that red meat was a household favorite, a good value for the money and easy to prepare.

Ground beef was the most commonly consumed red meat across all populations. The survey showed a significant difference with 89 percent of rural respondents reporting they purchase ground beef compared to 81 percent of suburban survey respondents and 71 percent of urban survey respondents. The next most purchased red meat was bacon. Again, there was a difference noted across the survey with 78 percent of rural, 69 percent of suburban and 65 percent of urban households reporting bacon purchases.

Rural survey respondents reported greater purchasing of other red meat categories such as beef steaks and fillets, pork portions and hot dogs than their suburban or urban counterparts. The only red meat that was reported to be purchased less often by rural respondents was lamb. The survey showed that lamb was purchased by 10 percent of rural households, 17 percent of suburban households and 13 percent of urban households.

The Michigan State University Product Center provides business and marketing assistance to entrepreneurs with businesses in food, agriculture, natural resources or bio-processing. Innovation counselors are located across the state in Michigan State University Extension offices to provide this assistance.

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