An exploratory study of consumer behaviour with the view to determine the effectiveness of the red meat classification system
Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The premise of this study was the hypothesis that consumers of red meat do not make their meat purchases according to the standards and value criteria set by the classification system. In light of the hypothesis, three research questions were asked: Does the consumer understand the classification system and make purchases accordingly? Does the system reflect the expectations and needs of the consumer? To what extent does this reciprocal message flow through the value chain? Essentially this study therefore on the one hand deals with the effectiveness of the red meat classification system, and on the other hand with the extent to which the consumer takes it into account when purchasing mutton and lamb. However, the study would have been regarded as incomplete if the total value chain and all role-players, the producer, abattoir owner, wholesaler, retailer and retail butcher were not brought into perspective, with the consumer as the heart of the value chain. Data generated through questionnaires were analysed by means of descriptive statistics. Closed-ended questions were used with respondents mainly from the middle to higher income groups in the main centres and metropoles. The findings of the research confirm that modern consumers do not buy red meat according to the standards and value criteria of the classification system. The decision making process during the purchasing of red meat is mainly determined by intrinsic and subjective value features. The question is, therefore, why consumers do not take the objective value traits into account. Is the system regarded as irrelevant, and/or is it too complicated? By implication the research results confirm that the red meat value chain is not altogether transparent and that the messages between the producer and the consumer are communicated ineffectively within the value chain. In light thereof it is recommended, on the one hand, that the classification system is revised and changed, because it does not succeed in meeting the needs and preferences of the modern consumer. On the other hand it is recommended that deliberate educational strategies are applied to change the attitudes and buying patterns of consumers regarding the purchasing of mutton and lamb. Consumers must be guided not to rely on their own and subjective considerations, but also to apply objective criteria with confidence. This process will inevitably also influence the effectiveness of the value chain.