A new study from agriculture economists from two universities finds that despite a poor economy there are a number of areas the beef industry can concentrate on to strengthen demand for its product.
The study, from economists at Kansas State and Michigan State University, found that the major factors which come into play for consumers are nutrition, safety and convenience with slight price fluctuations having little effect.
It was also shown that the media can have a much bigger effect on the industry than any farmer on his or her tractor.
The study found that between 1998 and 2003 there was a 2 percent increase in demand which it attributes to media frenzy over low carbohydrate diets. During that time period there was a 245 percent increase in the number of articles promoting low carbohydrate diets.
"For the industry, the implications are clear," Mintert said. "First, conduct research that helps identify positive impacts derived from beef consumption. Second, these findings need to be presented to health professionals, nutritionists and, especially, consumers. Furthermore, investing in the development of new production or processing technologies that enhance beefs nutritional properties can be a source of future demand improvement."