A framework to measure customers' perceptions on the quality of red meat
Malindi, Happy Edward
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This preliminary study investigated the factors which influence consumer choice of beef. A questionnaire and sensory evaluation considered the level of importance which consumers attached to the sensory (intrinsic attributes) properties of beef as compared to extrinsic factors. It was found that consumers use sensory properties to predict the freshness and overall eating quality, but they can also misinterpret the quality cues. Consumers made it clear that the freshness and the place of purchase played a prominent role in their decision to purchase red meat because they perceive the retailer to be an integral part of the overall quality assessment with regard to the purchase process of mutton and beef. The Total Food Quality Model is used as the frame of reference for analysing the way in which consumers perceive meat quality. The way in which consumers form expectations about the quality at the point of purcha7se, based on their own experience and information cues available in the shopping environment, is described as well as the way in which quality is experienced in the home during and after meal preparation. The relationship between quality expectations and quality experience and its implications for consumer satisfaction and repeat purchase intent is addressed. The study collected data by means of a questionnaire to evaluate the quality perceptions of beef. Cronbach alpha as reliability coefficient recorded high levels of reliability and the factor analysis revealed that only one factor, namely that of quality considerations is present in the analysis. Furthermore, the building on the insights obtained on subjective quality perception, possibilities for consumer–oriented product development in the meat sector are addressed. Issues dealt with here are branding, differentiation by taste, healthiness and convenience.