Consumers Want to Know More About Where Food Comes From


June 1, 2017

Story provided by Certified Angus Beef and The American Angus Association

These days consumers have more information readily available at their fingertips about the different types of food they buy. And when it comes to the type of beef they purchase and serve their family, one thing stands out above all the rest.

Consumers want to know more about what they’re buying, and certainly what they’re eating. There’s a term for what they want to know.

Credence attributes are those things that a consumer, when she picks up a product in the meat case, that she can’t necessarily determine with a naked eye. It moves beyond price and packaging and color of product to things like how are the animals treated, what was the environmental impact. All of those questions that consumers have today about how their food was grown and how it gets to them.

95 percent of people being removed from agriculture has increased demand for the full story, to the point that buyers will pay more for it. That gives producers a chance to put more dollars in their pockets.

“The great opportunity that we have today in the beef industry is that consumers want choices and they want transparency and they want information. So there isn’t one size fits all, so that provides great opportunity for each producer to really look and say, ‘okay, what do I want to do?,” says LeAnne Saunders, president of Where Food Comes From Inc.

As a baseline, Saunders mentions, proven, quality genetics are essential. Then it’s about record keeping and opportunities to build.

“You want to look at more standardization and more quality around those genetics over time. You need to look at vaccination protocols and predictability around vaccination programs and animal health. And then you start to look at things like source and age verification and using electronic identification that means something to the buyers upstream. Then if you want to continue to add attributes you can over time.”

Ranchers already have a good story to tell. At the end of the day, those added dollars come from thinking beyond the ranch.

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