Aquaculture North America

Merck Animal Health announces results of consumer transparency research study

March 7, 2023
By Maryam Farag

Merck Animal Health announced the results of the company’s first-ever consumer transparency research study, finding that two-thirds of consumers say transparency in animal protein is extremely or very important.

The study explored consumer desire for transparency in animal protein, such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy, and their perceptions of industry transparency when it comes to animal welfare and sustainability. It also looked at the interplay of transparency and traceability and consumers’ willingness to pay for transparency label claims.

“The survey results tell us consumers want more information than ever in order to make informed decisions about the food they put on their dinner tables,” said Allison Flinn, DVM, executive director, value chain and consumer affairs at Merck Animal Health. “Our DNA Traceback technology, which uses nature’s bar code – DNA – with data analytics, provides an evidence-based animal protein traceability solution to accurately trace meat and seafood that is verifiable from farm-to-table to help build trust in food labels.”

Highlights from the study include:

  • Two-thirds or 66 percent of consumers reported transparency in animal proteins (meat, fish, eggs and dairy) is extremely or very important and the reasons are personal – health and nutrition top the list;
  • 86 percent of consumers who reported transparency is important also rank traceability as extremely/very important and 40 per cent of those consumers also want to know where the livestock comes from;
  • Over 50 percent of consumers surveyed reported they were willing to pay a five per cent premium for transparency on the label and want more information than ever about how their food is grown and raised to make informed decisions at the grocery store;
  • High-transparency seekers, or those who consider transparency most important to their purchasing decisions and are willing to pay for it on the label, are typically millennial, non-Caucasian, educated males who live in urban areas with their children – and they do the grocery shopping;
  • Environmental sustainability and animal welfare are important animal protein purchase considerations with 55 percent surveyed reporting environmental sustainability as very/extremely important and 66 percent reporting animal care/treatment as extremely important/very important.

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