Diners look for local meat

Consumers are increasingly opting for locally produced meat when dining out, while 63% are prepared to pay more, meat bosses have revealed.

The findings are the result of a survey from FMCG/MORI research, and the Meat & Livestock Commission said chefs cannot afford to ignore them.

Foodservice trade manager, Tony Goodger, said: "It is clear that consumer interest in food provenance is here to stay. Looking at research findings for the last four years, the number of diners who believe that meat served in restaurants and other eating establishments should have its origin displayed - local or otherwise - remains at over 60%.

"Consumers have the right to make an informed choice about the meat they are eating and they are clearly doing so. In fact, nearly half of respondents say that they actively choose dishes that are made with locally produced meat over those that aren't.

"For chefs this means that where meat is sourced locally and identified as such, they can expect to see a positive increase in interest, sales and profitability."

Further findings suggest that consumers commonly associate menu transparency with the perceived quality of establishments and their level of customer care.

Fifty five per cent believe restaurants that show the origin of meat on menus care more about their customers than those that do not, while 63% perceive that 'better quality' eating places are more likely to tell customers where they source their ingredients from.

Goodger said: "These findings clearly show that providing customers with information on your sourcing policy is in everyone's interest. Not only does it meet customers' demands, but it demonstrates confidence in supplier relationships and the quality of ingredients being served. In return, establishments will be rewarded with increased custom and profit."