USDA to Survey Consumers on US Meat Product Labels

(3) How much are consumers willing to pay for meat products bearing the “Product of the United States” labeling claim for the current definition and potential revised definitions (for example, if the meat came from an animal born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States)?

“Product of USA” is a voluntary label, but the animal husbandry and meatpacking industries have had battles over exactly how to label meat products, especially after the USDA was forced to remove the mandatory country of origin (COOL) label in 2015.

The online survey will become quite comprehensive and could take consumers around an hour. The first part will present a series of fake products and ask consumers to list the labeling features they remember on these products. There will then be a second set of questions to find out if consumers have seen specific images and phrases, including “Product of USA”. The second part of the survey will allow consumers to address their current understanding of “Product of USA” labels as they relate to a product’s country of origin. Consumers will also be asked if they understand rating labels such as “USDA Choice”. The third aspect of the survey will consist of eight to ten questions on various product attributes such as price, definition of “Product of the United States” and classification claims, as well as other details regarding product claims. .

Beyond the investigation, the Federal Register notice of FSIS also launches a 60-day comment period for other individuals and organizations to provide suggestions on how to improve this research effort. The notice calls for comments to be submitted by April 4.

More details about the FSIS investigation and how to submit comments can be found on the website at…

Chris Clayton can be reached at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

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