Date of this Version
To determine consumer sensory acceptance and value of branded, Argentine (grass-finished, aged 30+ d) and domestic (U.S. grain-finished beef, aged 9 d) strip loins were paired based on similar Warner- Bratzler shear force values (P = 0.34) and similar marbling levels (P = 0.82). Consumers in Chicago, IL, and San Francisco, CA (n = 124 per city), evaluated one pair of Argentine and domestic steaks, and had the opportunity to participate in a silent, sealed-bid auction to purchase steaks matching the taste panel samples. Consumers were categorized into three groups based on overall acceptability ratings: 1) those who found Argentine steaks more acceptable, 2) those who found domestic steaks more acceptable, and 3) those who were indifferent. Consumers rated domestic steaks higher (P < 0.05) in juiciness, tenderness, flavor, and overall acceptability. Consumers in both Chicago and San Francisco were willing to pay more (P < 0.05) for domestic steaks ($0.86 and $0.52 per 0.45 kg, respectively). In both cities, consumers who found Argentine samples more acceptable were willing to pay more (P < 0.05) for Argentine steaks ($0.74 per 0.45 kg in Chicago and $1.82 per 0.45 kg in San Francisco), and consumers who found domestic samples more acceptable were willing to pay more (P < 0.05) for domestic steaks ($1.66 per 0.45 kg in Chicago and $1.34 per 0.45 kg in San Francisco). Consumers who were indifferent were willing to pay similar (P = 0.99) amounts for Argentine and domestic steaks. Although some consumers found Argentine beef more acceptable than domestic beef (19.7 and 16.5% in Chicago and San Francisco, respectively) and were willing to pay more for it, most consumers found domestic beef to be more acceptable (59.0% in Chicago and 61.5% in San Francisco) and were willing to pay more to obtain a more acceptable product.