W.A. Lombard1, J.H. Van Zyl2 & T.R. Beelders3

1Lecturer, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of the Free State

2Senior Lecturer, Centre for Development Support, University of the Free State

3Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Informatics, University of the Free State



The consumption of beef and mutton products amongst South African consumers are expected to steadily increase in the near future. Across the world consumers are consuming diets that are higher in protein and the red meat industry is changing from being a production-led to a consumer-driven industry. To meet the needs of red meat consumers, retailers and producers should stay up to date with the changes in their consumers’ demands. The aim of this study was to determine red meat consumers’ preferences in the Mangaung metropolitan municipality of the Free State province of South Africa. In total, 350 consumers were interviewed by making use of a convenience sampling technique at eight different locations across the metropolitan area. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to determine consumers’ preferences. From the results it was found that consumers have specific requirements with regard to the red meat products they purchase. Price was found to be the most important self-reported aspect of red meat products by consumers in the study. In terms of the physical appearance of packaged meat, consumers showed a clear preference toward bright red meat with the neatness of the cuts and the fat on the meat being slightly less important.


Dr. Willem Abraham Lombard is the lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Economics, University of the Free State, South Africa.

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