Module I: Consumer/Market Analysis
The objective of module I is to develop new tools for the development and marketing of pork-based products based on mapping and assessment of behaviour towards the pig production chain as citizens and as consumers.
People relate to the pork-producing sector and to pork-based products in two ways: via their role as citizen, and via their role as consumer. As citizens, people perceive characteristics of the pork production system, including farming, slaughtering and transportation, and relate it to their idiosyncratic systems of attitudes and values, which in some cases may result in citizens' desire to participate in the public debate about agricultural and food production. Citizens are confronted with pig production through mass media, but often also through direct contact with pig production in their personal environment, particularly so in the boundary of residential and animal husbandry areas.
Negative externalities of pig production, such as odour, manure surpluses and nitrate in drinking water, shape citizen reactions and may give rise to societal concerns. As consumers, people relate to pork-based products and their characteristics based on their meal patterns and preferences for quality attributes such as eating quality, nutritional aspects, convenience, variety and production process.
WPI.1 has analysed how people relate to pig production and pork products in both their citizen and consumer roles. To this end, a survey study has been implemented in five EU countries (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Greece) and in Brazil and China.
Results show that while people are generally critical about pig production, especially regarding impacts on the environment and animal welfare, for the majority of respondents these attitudes are weak. Smaller parts of the population have more polarized attitudes, concentrating either on environmental issues, animal welfare issues, or the support of small-scale and regional farming.
In their role as consumers, people differ both in the volume and the variety of pork-based products they eat, although by far most people consume both fresh, minimally processed and processed pork products. Which products are consumed varies by situation, where a basic distinction is between weekday, weekend/special occasion, and on-the-go and snacking situations.
Perception of pork products differs between situations, with different weights assigned to health, taste, price, and convenience. There were significant, but small links between attitudes to pig production and pork consumption, with lower levels of consumption for the more critical citizen segments.
Results in Brazil and China differed in several respects from the European results; for example, industrial large-scale farms are viewed favourably in China but not in Europe, and slatted floors in stables are viewed favourably in Brazil but not in Europe.
WPI.2 will demonstrate how results from this and other QPC modules can enter a creative process that will lead to new pork product concepts, which will be tested for market acceptance using a methodology tailored to the pork sector.
In cooperation with the two industrial partners, creative sessions have been carried out resulting in a large number of new product concepts for both fresh and processed meat. These concepts are currently being screened by the two industrial partners and will be tested next year using a methodology currently under development.
The methodology will also be handed over to WPI.3, which will develop a tool box of instruments for consumer-based new product development for SMEs in the pork sector.
WPI.3 will also work closely together with two pilot chain projects in Germany and Greece that are about to be started.
See more about these chains at the Industry Platform:
Pilot 7: Implementation of regional pork chain concepts and new pork product concepts