Testing the effects of values in beef messaging on purchasing behavior



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Beef consumption in the United States is steadily increasing, but even so, industry leaders have called for more research to ensure effective messages are developed on behalf of the beef industry. Further, the literature indicates emphasis on legitimate purchasing behavior can aid in discovering true effectiveness of messages regarding food products like beef. To fill this need, this study tested the use of different values – benevolence, security, and self-direction – embedded within advertorials and labels of retail beef products. The guiding purpose was to identify which values agricultural communicators should use to develop messages that result in a positive attitude about beef, intent to seek out information regarding beef and/or share that information with peers, and ultimately pay a higher rate for beef products by consumers. The population consisted of 203 adults from Lubbock and the surrounding area. A quantitative, experimental design was used to fulfill the goals of this project. Demographic data indicated participants were diverse in gender, race, income, and general attitude toward beef. Data analysis revealed the use of the benevolence value resulted in a more positive emotional response than the other treatments (p = 0.030) and warm feeling (p = 0.046); however, no treatments found a significant difference in willingness to pay a higher rate for beef products. Even so, the data revealed the control advertorial resulted in a significantly higher willingness to share content with peers (p = 0.030). Further research is needed to indicate what type of marketing strategies will result in a higher willingness to pay for beef products by consumers.



Agriculture, Communications, Marketing, Beef, Fresh Meat, Willingness-to-pay, Emotional Appeals, Values, Experiment