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A new study conducted by ag economists at Kansas State University and Oklahoma State University shows consumers are less sensitive to retail beef prices than in the past, making quality factors like taste, convenience and freshness even more important in purchasing decisions. Results of the study, commissioned by the beef checkoff, were released yesterday (1/31) at the Cattle Industry Convention in Phoenix.
K-State ag economist Glynn Tonsor said the research updated elasticity estimates, or how sensitive purchasing behavior is to prices. He and other economists said while price still matters, a 1% increase in price has a smaller impact on beef consumption than in the past.
In addition to price, study authors looked at other key determinants affecting beef demand in the long term. The list included beef quality, consumer incomes, beef’s healthfulness image in the media and shifts in race composition of the U.S. population.
Based on the research, the economists made five key recommendations for beef industry leaders to consider in making decisions about how to invest checkoff dollars. The list included focusing on important beef quality issues to grow demand and making it a priority to regularly assess beef demand.

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