Date of this Version
To determine US consumer acceptance and value of beef from various countries, 24 taste panels of consumers (n = 273 consumers) were conducted in Denver and Chicago. Two pairs of strip steaks were evaluated for flavor, juiciness, tenderness, and overall acceptability on eight-point hedonic scales. One pair consisted of an Australian grass-fed strip steak and a domestic strip steak, whereas the other pair included Canadian and domestic strip steaks. The pairs were matched to similar Warner-Bratzler shear values and marbling scores to decrease variation associated with tenderness and juiciness. A variation of the Vickery auction was used to obtain silent, sealed bids on steaks (0.45 kg) from the same strip loins sampled in the taste panel. Consumers gave higher (P < 0.001) scores for flavor, juiciness, tenderness, and overall acceptability for domestic steaks compared with Australian grass- fed steaks. Domestic steaks averaged $3.68/0.45 kg, whereas consumers placed an average value of $2.48/ 0.45 kg on Australian grass-fed steaks (P < 0.001). Consumers rated Canadian steaks numerically lower for juiciness (P = 0.09) and lower (P < 0.005) for flavor, tenderness, and overall acceptability than domestic samples. Consumers placed an average value of $3.95/ 0.45 kg for domestic steaks and $3.57/0.45 kg for Canadian steaks (P < 0.01). Consumers (19.0%) who preferred Australian grass-fed steaks over domestic steaks paid $1.38/0.45 kg more (P < 0.001), whereas consumers (29.3%) who favored the Canadian steaks over the domestic steaks paid $1.37/0.45 kg more (P < 0.001) for the Canadian steaks. A majority of US consumers seem to be accustomed to the taste of domestic beef and prefer domestic steaks to beef from Australia grass-fed and Canadian beef.