Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Research shows opportunities in ‘wellness’ for red meat

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Consumers in US and Australia expressed interest in improving their health through eating red meat.
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Newly published research among consumers in Australia and the United States reveals interest in them improving their wellbeing through eating red meat.

Undertaken by AgResearch and Meat & Livestock Australia, the research highlights opportunities to achieve a premium for products with proven health benefits, AgResearch senior scientist Carolina Realini said.

“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,” she said.

The research suggests “a promising opportunity for producers to develop tailored products to align with consumers’ wellness preferences, individual needs, and various life stages; and clearly communicate the benefits of these tailored offerings to consumers”.

The US and Australia 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.

More than 90% percent of survey 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.

Realini said specific interests differed between the two countries. 

“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 research was based on online surveys conducted in the United States and Australia in 2019.

Realini said the nutritional benefit of red meat such as beef and lamb is well documented in previous research. 

The high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals from red meat are known to be vital to good health throughout life, and linked to brain function and mood.

However, “we still have some way to go to be able to provide compelling and specific evidence of physical and mental wellness benefits from red meat consumption”.

“As researchers, the onus is on us to provide the trusted, robust scientific evidence that supports the recommended levels of red meat consumption as beneficial for wellness. 

“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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