Sensory assessments and consumers’ willingness to pay for Karoo lamb versus Karoo mutton using an experimental auction approach

Troost, Carina (2019-04)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Farm profitability of sheep production systems in arid and semi-arid regions is mainly shaped by grazing conditions, production losses, and abattoir price per kilogram (R/kg). Current pricing arrangements in the meat market reflect a price differentiation based on the official Carcass Classification System and the age of the animal, with A2 and A3 lamb being sold at a premium to older and fatter animals. The South African meat industry is currently debating potential changes to the current Carcass Classification System. One of the arguments being that the current pricing and classification systems do not reward the carcasses that have higher quality and better sensory and cooking attributes. The quality and consumer preferences related to sheep meat is the main focus of this study and is shaped in the context of the existing South African Carcass Classification System. Little research has been done to evaluate sensory characteristics and consumer acceptance of sheep meat as a basis for determining wilingness to pay (WTP) for sheep meat. The need therefore exists to investigate whether the older animals (i.e. AB, B and C classes) from the Karoo will also carry a similar superior quality perception amongst South African consumers. The overall objective of this study is two-fold: to evaluate the effect of the age of Karoo sheep on consumers’ sensory assessments of the meat, and on their willingness to pay for Karoo sheep meat. Sensory assessments were conducted by a consumer panel who were representative of South African lamb and sheep meat consumers. The sensory ratings were established by using a 9-point hedonic category scale. Three different lamb and mutton age classes were used in order to have a representative meat sample distribution. The A lamb (no permanent incisors), AB mutton (1-2 permanent incisors) and C mutton (more than 6 permanent incisors) carcasses with fatness level 2 were selected. In addition, both standardised and optimal cooking methods were applied for the three meat cuts (stew meat, loin and leg) used in this study. A random nth-price auction mechanism with its favourable features was held amongst the same participants to test consumers’ WTP for Karoo lamb and mutton. The auction was applied with a pre-auction survey to acquire participants’ demographic information, purchase behaviour and prior knowledge and perceptions regarding lamb and mutton meat. The sensory assessments and experimental auction were efficient in capturing consumer preference differences and WTP. The results indicated participants’ sensory scores and WTP for three meat cuts within the three mentioned age classes. The stew meat cuts of the C class were most preferred. Furthermore, the AB class obtained the highest average bid price for the loin cut. The leg of lamb was most preferred in the standardised cooking method, but the leg of lamb and the AB leg were most preferred in the optimal cooking method. This study highlights the acceptable quality attributes of the different cuts within each age class. The findings further indicate the importance of focusing marketing strategies toward specific meat cuts in order to optimally use and market a carcass in its given age class.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Die winsgewendheid van skaapproduksiestelsels op plase in droë en halfdorre streke word deur weidingstoestande, produksieverliese en abattoirprys per kilogram (R/kg) bepaal. Huidige prysreëlings in die vleismark weerspieël 'n prysdifferensiasie gebaseer op die amptelike karkasklassifikasiestelsel en die ouderdom van die dier met A2 en A3-lammers wat teen 'n premie teenoor ouer en vetter diere verkoop word. Die Suid-Afrikaanse vleisbedryf ondersoek tans moontlike veranderinge aan die huidige karkasklassifikasiestelsel. Een van die argumente wat geopper word, is dat die huidige prys- en klassifikasiestelsels nie die karkasse van hoër gehalte en met beter sensoriese en gaarmaak eienskappe, beloon nie. Die gehalte en verbruikersvoorkeure wat met skaapvleis verband hou, is die primêre fokus van hierdie studie en word gevorm in die konteks van die bestaande Suid-Afrikaanse Karkasklassifikasiestelsel. Beperkte navorsing is tot hede gedoen om sensoriese eienskappe en verbruikersaanvaarding van skaapvleis te evalueer as basis vir die bepaling van verbruikers se bereidwilligheid om vir skaapvleis te betaal. ‘n Behoefte ontstaan om te bepaal of die ouer diere (d.w.s. AB, B en C grade) uit die Karoostreek ook 'n soortgelyke persepsie van hoë kwaliteit onder Suid-Afrikaanse verbruikers sal geniet. Die oorkoepelende doelwit van hierdie studie is tweeledig: om die effek van die ouderdom van Karooskaapvleis op verbruikers se sensoriese assesserings te evalueer, en hulle bereidwilligheid om vir Karooskaapvleis te betaal. Die sensoriese beoordelings is deur 'n verbruikerspaneel uitgevoer wat verteenwoordigend was van Suid-Afrikaanse lam- en skaapvleis verbruikers. Die sensoriese tellings is vasgestel deur 'n 9-punt-hedoniese kategorieskaal te gebruik. Drie verskillende lam- en skaapouderdomsklasse is in hierdie studie gebruik om 'n verteenwoordigende verspreiding van vleismonsters te bereik. A-lam (geen permanente snytande), AB-skaap (1-2 permanente snytande), en C-skaap (meer as 6 permanente snytande) karkasse met vetvlak 2 is gekies. Daarbenewens is beide gestandaardiseerde en optimale kookmetodes vir die drie vleissnitte (stowevleis, lende en boude) wat in hierdie studie gebruik is, toegepas. 'n ‘‘Random nth-price auction” met sy voordelige eienskappe is op dieselfde deelnemers toegepas om verbruikers se bereidwilligheid om vir Karoo-lam en skaapvleis te betaal, te toets. Die eksperimentele veiling is met 'n voor-veiling opname toegepas om deelnemers se demografiese inligting, aankoopgedrag en voorkennis en persepsies rakende lam en skaapvleis te verkry. Die sensoriese beoordelings en eksperimentele veiling was doeltreffend om verbruikers se verskillende voorkeure en bereidwilligheid om te betaal, vas te lê. Die resultate het die deelnemers se sensoriese tellings en bereidwilligheid om vir die vleissnitte binne die drie genoemde ouderdomklasse te betaal, aangedui. Die stowevleissnitte van die C-graad het die meeste voorkeur geniet. Daarbenewens het die AB-graad die hoogste gemiddelde bodprys vir die lendesnit behaal. In die gestandaardiseerde kookmetode was die lamsboud vleismonster die meeste verkies, maar die lamsboud en die AB-graad het die meeste aftrek in die optimale kookmetode gekry. Hierdie studie beklemtoon die aanvaarbare kwaliteitseienskappe van die verskillende snitte binne elke ouderdomsgroep. Die bevindinge dui verder op die belangrikheid daarvan om bemarkingstrategieë op spesifieke vleissnitte te fokus ten einde 'n karkas optimaal in sy gegewe ouderdomsklas te benut en te bemark.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/105933
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