Consumers were willing to reach deeper in their wallets to pay for steak in December, according to the latest Food Demand Survey from Oklahoma State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics.
The monthly survey of approximately 1,000 individuals collects data on consumer’s willingness-to-pay for a variety of food items. This month’s survey shows an increased willingness-to-pay for all products except chicken breast and hamburger, which declined by 2.71 percent and 2.81 percent respectively (or to $5.02 per pound for chicken breast and $4.49 per pound for hamburger). The largest increase in the survey was steak at 11.43 percent higher or $7.80 per pound. Also increasing were pork chops, deli ham, chicken wings, beans and rice and pasta.
According to the USDA Weekly Retail Beef Feature Activity report for the week of Dec. 19 through Dec. 25, there was a 1.5 percent increase in the number of retail outlets feature beef. Beef Rib Roasts saw the largest increase in prevalence, with retailers catering to consumers preparing Christmas meals. According to the report, Loin, Rib and Round also saw more ad space and Chuck, Brisket and Ground Beef saw less ad space.
The OSU survey each month asks a variety of ad hoc questions to respondents, and in December, the ad hoc questions related to the future of food production.
The first question related to consumers’ willingness to eat or drink a variety of products that might be available in the future. According to the survey, only around 20 percent of respondents said they would be willing to eat hamburger from meat grown in a lab, pizza made for a 3D food printer, and a protein bar made with insect flour. On the other end of the spectrum, nearly 65 percent of respondents said they would be willing to eat rice with higher levels of vitamin A, and nearly half of respondents said they would drink milk from a carton that changes color according to freshness, and an apple that does not turn brown after peeling.
The second ad hoc question related to concerns consumers have about the future of agriculture. The largest concern was “having affordable food for me and my family” and the lowest concern was “inequitable distribution of food throughout the world.”
The final question asked respondents whether adopting a more “technical” agricultural production system (with more innovation, science and research in crops and food) or adopting a more “natural” agricultural production system (with more local, organic, unprocessed crops and food) would be more effective in addressing the challenges they previously identified. More than three-quarters of respondents said adopting a more natural system would be more effective.
To read the full Food Demand Survey, click here.