Utility to Consumers and Consumer Acceptance of Information on Beef Labels in Southern Chile

Berta Schnettler M.1*, Roberto Silva F.1, and Néstor Sepúlveda B.1

Credence attributes (production system, animal welfare, traceability, among others) have acquired importance for meat products in developed countries, representing information that must be included on label. A personal survey was administered to 770 consumers in the Bío-Bío and La Araucanía Regions, Chile, to determine the utility of information contained on the label and acceptance of information referred to as credence attributes, as well as to distinguish different consumer segments. The packaging and expiry dates were the most useful aspects of the current information. The greatest degree of agreement with respect to information that should be included was a quality seal, type of animal, handling regarding animal welfare, production system and feeding. Using cluster analysis, three segments were distinguished. The largest (49.2%) agreed most strongly with including information about feeding, transport conditions, slaughtering, traceability, and production system. The second group (34.4%) was indifferent to information about transport, slaughter and traceability. The smallest segment (16.4%) disagreed with including information on slaughtering. Therefore, the information currently present on meat labels was useful for consumers, who would also value having information on the credence attributes associated with cattle production, such as production system, feeding and animal welfare.

Keywords: beef, label, animal welfare, production systems, traceability.
1 Universidad de La Frontera, Facultad de Ciencias Agropecuarias y Forestales, Casilla 54-D, Temuco, Chile. *Corresponding author (bschnett@ufro.cl)