According to the most recent Consumer Beef Index survey conducted by the Beef Checkoff Program, while consumers’ perception of beef remains at historically high levels, current high prices for beef could be the reason for slightly lower favorability compared to recent surveys.

Beef favorability at historically high levelsThe Consumer Beef Index is a semi-annual online survey designed to identify and track consumer perceptions of beef and highlight consumption trends. The most recent installment was conducted from July 18-28 and includes responses from 1,068 consumers nationwide ranging in age from 13-68.

The latest survey added individuals aged 66-68 to allow for better track generational differences as Baby Boomers have begun to “age out” of the previously tracked age range.

According to the survey, taste continues to be the strongest driver of meal selection decisions but is moderated by budget considerations. Additionally, 73 percent of respondents had positive perceptions of beef, down slightly from the March 2014 and July 2013 CBI surveys. The checkoff says this slight decline in the measurement of beef “value” is not surprising due to recent high beef prices.

Millennials, especially those with children, have “encouraging views” of beef’s taste, value and product integrity, according to the survey. Millennial parents, the survey says, are more likely than other types of consumers to enjoy cooking, require convenience and exercise regularly to stay healthy.

Millennial consumers, according to the CBI, also appreciate receiving information about selecting and preparing beef and having prepared beef meals available in the deli and fresh meat cases.

The sample population was altered to reflect the growing group of older “Boomerang Millennials” – those 22-29 years old and living with their parents.

The CBI was developed in 2006 to track changes in consumer perception of and demand for beef relative to other proteins, assess the impact of the industry’s communication efforts and measure consumer perception of beef.