Independent butchers are top the league when it comes to shoppers’ trust in meat suppliers according to a new BPEX survey.
When asked to rate a range of food outlets in terms of their levels of trust in the meat they supply, 92% of respondents said they trusted independent butchers either a lot or a fair amount. Supermarkets were second with 69% followed by restaurants 58%, school meals 34%, staff canteens 25% and finally fast food outlets with 17%.
The research was commissioned from YouGov as part of an ongoing BPEX campaign to improve understanding of the factors which drive consumer trust in meat.
The survey also looked at the role quality assurance schemes and provenance play in consumer trust. Two thirds (66%) of meat buyers agreed it was important they know where the meat they buy comes from. 60% agreed assurance schemes such as Red Tractor and Freedom Foods gave them confidence in the origin and quality of the meat they bought, while 50% were prepared to pay a little more for meat produced under food assurance schemes.
Red Tractor was the label most used by consumers to provide reassurance about country of origin and quality with 40% of meat shoppers saying they used the label.
“It is perhaps no surprise that high street butchers are the most trusted given the personal relationship they have with customers,” said Mick Sloyan, director, BPEX.
“Perhaps a more interesting question is why the level of trust in multiple retailers is significantly higher than other outlets, particularly in the food service sector. The answer could lie the in the widespread use of on-pack labelling of quality assurance and country of origin, as the survey suggested these are elements consumers really value. Since the horsemeat scandal many leading retailers have made commitments to shorten and simplify supply chains. This could well be paying dividends now.”
Sloyan added: “Data like this is extremely valuable as it adds to the body of knowledge on consumer trust. It is clear despite being two years on from Horsegate, British consumers still have some concerns. We will continue to develop our understanding in this area and share our results with the industry so we can improve the position. That said, it is genuinely positive news to see consumer confidence in meat remains high.”