An Investigation of the General and Niche Market Goat Meat Demand
The eleven state region from Texas to North Carolina (TX, LA, OK, AR, MS, AL, FL, GA, TN, SC, and NC) is the goat production region. The region accounted for 78% of all goat production about 81% of meat goat production in 1997. Mat goats in the U. S., have been minor food animals but their numbers and importance to farm income have increased in recent years, particularly in the South. The number of farms producing meat goats in the region between 1992 and 1997 increased by more than 59%. All states in the region had substantial gains in meat type goat production and this production took place primarily on small farms. Net imports of goat meat also increased dramatically during the period. Changes in goat production and net imports are thought to be related to increases in the segment of the population that have preferences for goat products. The implications of these statistics is an increased goat meat demand. However, little research is available that explain the consumption demographics of goat meat.
Historical data series are not readily available on goat production, marketing and consumption. Thus, information on the markets used by goat producers is not widely available nor is the relative importance of the markets or characteristics of the markets. Little is known also about the production problems experienced by producers and their relative importance on decision making.
To establish the level of consumption and demand within the general population and identify opportunities for increased consumption, identify the goat meat products desired and estimate the potential level of demand.
To assess the level of demand and product characteristics desired by the Hispanic niche market. This assessment will also seek to determine the effects of income levels, educational attainment, integration into the larger community, the passing of food consumption preferences from parents to offspring and other socioeconomic demographic factors on demand/consumption.
To study the feasibility of strategic alliances between producers, and producers and marketing entities to efficiently exploit markets as influenced by producer and farm characteristics including herd size, land holdings, adoption of breeding and production technologies.
The Consumer Survey
The consumer telephone survey was conducted in late spring 2004 through the Survey Research Center at the University of Georgia. The survey was conducted in eleven (11) southern states (Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma) and more than 2751 households were interviewed with 2751 usable schedules competed. The households chosen for inclusion in the survey were the result of a random sampling procedure using a random digit dial process of residents within the states with hardline telephone service. Each state has a range of respondents from a minimum of 237 to a maximum of 257, with the exception of Georgia and Florida. In Georgia and Florida an intentional attempt was made to secure a sub-sample of Hispanic residents. Thus, a data base of residents with Hispanic surnames having hardline telephone service in Georgia and Florida was secured for each state and a random sample of those residents were drawn using the random digit dial process. Spanish-speaking interviewers were secured to call all the residents in Georgia and Florida with Hispanic surnames.
The questionnaire used in the survey had forty-eight primary questions. Twenty-three of the questions one layer but the other twenty-five questions had multiple layers of queries. The number of multiple-layer queries ranged up to eight in an effort to collect detail information. The primary questions fell into several areas or categories which included: (1) consumption behavior of respondents regarding whether they consumed goat meat at the time of the survey, whether they were willing to consume more goat meat, how much the household consumed, and whether there was a willingness to buy more goat meat as a substitute for non-goat meat products; (2) consumer preferences for various cuts of goat, for different sensory attributes such as freshness, color, and fat content; for health and risk factors (cholesterol, freedom of chemicals and USDA inspection, etc.); (3) methods of cooking such as broiling, roasting, barbeque as well as dishes make from goat meat including soups, meat sauce, chili, meat loaf, etc.; (4) consumption of other meats including beef, pork, turkey, chicken, lamb and fish; (5) demographic information such as gender, age, racial affiliation, household size, family structure, immigrant status; (6) socioeconomic factors including education and household income; (7) marketing tools used such as food page advertisements, store displays, price specials, in-supermarket taste tests as well as other taste tests, safety assurances, goat meat convenience products.
The initial analysis of the regional data set has concentrated on examining the demand for goat meat and its potential increase. Econometric models using socioeconomic and demographic variables were used to study the layers of demand: (1) current demand; (2) demand increase from per capita consumption; (3) demand increase from new consumers; and (4) demand change with respect to season and special occasions. The results of the four levels of demand were:
The number of respondents available for this level of analysis of demand was 2675 rather than the entire sample. No substitution effect was found for lamb, as expected. However, respondents eating chicken at least once a week are more likely to consume more goat and goat meat consumption was complimentary for pork consumers. Race is a critical factor for current goat meat consumers and the likelihood of goat meat consumption for the non-white population is significantly higher than for the white population. Compared to whites, the odds ratio of goat meat consumption is .33 for American Blacks, 1.42 for Black non-African American and 1.18 for Hispanics. Age was another significant contributor to existing demand. Older consumers were significantly more likely than others to be consumers of goat meat. The peak consumer age group or range was 55-74 years of age.
No significant effects were observed for education for existing demand, however, significant effects were observed for gender income, and geographic location. Males odds ratio of consuming was significantly greater than for females. Households with incomes of $25,000 and below are more likely to be existing goat meat consumers than other income ranges. Nine of the eleven states had similar consumption tendencies but Florida consumers were less likely to consume the product and those in Texas were more likely to be existing consumers.
Demand from Per Capita Consumption Increase
The survey results suggest that current per capita consumption in the region is somewhat low. Half of current consumers buy only about 4 pounds of goat meat annually. However, on the question of willingness to consume more, in excess of 48% of the households indicated a willingness to consume more goat meat. However, increased consumption of both pork and beef showed less willingness to consume more goat meat products. As in the previous model, race is a significant demographic factor influencing per capita consumption. Blacks and multi-culture households are more likely to increase per capita consumption while that of Hispanics are less likely to consume more. Of great interest are the attitudinal variables on the willingness to consume. Of those willing to purchase more, organically grown goat was ranked very high, their preference for prepackaged products, labeling and cooking instructions were also rated high as well. Consumers that broil and barbeque tended to consume more goat meat. Finally, consumers that are price sensitive, interested in supermarket taste test, and like convenient goat meat products are more likely to consume more if goat meat is available in their local supermarkets.
Demand Increase from New Consumers
Pork consumption, race, and income are less important on demand increase from new consumers as may be expected. However, beef consumption, age, gender, and geographic influences are more important. Households consuming more beef are more willing to try goat meat. As is currently the case for existing goat meat consumers, the older respondents are more likely to become new consumers. Females were found to be less likely to shift to goat meat consumption. In terms of new consumers, households in Florida and Arkansas are more likely to become new consumers than other consumers. Finally, store displays, price specials, in-supermarket test and USDA inspection will have significant impacts on demand increases from new consumers of goat meat products.
Demand Change from Season and Special Occasions
Education,income, gender, the ranking of the importance of marketing tools and pork consumption play a role in seasonal demand for goat meat products. Consumers with higher educational attainment tend to consume more goat meat products on a non-seasonal basis but households with higher incomes tend to consume goat seasonally. Female are more likely to be year round goat meat consumers when compared to males that consume goat meat. Households that are less likely to consume pork are less likely to be seasonal goat meat consumers. In addition, those respondents that rank in-store displays and meat price specials high tend to change consumption patterns by season.
Blacks of non-African American origin tend to have less occasional consumption patterns but Hispanic and multi-racial respondents are likely to have more consumption associated with special occasions. Younger respondents are likely to show a seasonal consumption tendency while older respondents eat goat meat more regularly with less seasonality. Women that consume goat meat are more regular consumers than men. The ranking of marketing tools tended to impact frequency of consumption. Households that ranked meat price specials high tended to consume goat meat on special occasions than those ranking specials low. Also, households ranking meat taste tests low tended to consume goat meat more regularly than those ranking it high.
A master’s thesis was completed (by Erika Knight) during spring 2005 at the University of Florida using the Georgia and Florida data sets entitled An Evaluation of Consumer Preferences Regarding Goat Meat in Florida. The primary emphasis of the thesis was assessing willingness to try goat meat products. Willingness to try goat meat was a combined variable made up of respondents that were current consumers of goat meat and those respondents that were not consumers but indicated a willingness to consume the product. The focus of this analysis was to examine potential demand and to compare the demand among Hispanics with that of the general population. Thus, consumers of other races that were willing to consume goat meat products were compared to that of Hispanics.
Statistics revealed that about 25 percent of Hispanics compared to 12 percent of the general population were goat meat consumers. However, when comparing non-goat meat consumers willingness to try goat meat product, about 32 percent of Hispanic consumers were willing to try the product to about 30 percent of non-Hispanics. Significant demographic variables were household size and age. As the household size increased, willingness to try goat meat products also increased. Respondents between the ages 55 – 64 were significantly more willing to try goat meat products and this result is consistent with that found with the regional data set.
The attitudinal variables of price specials and fat content had significant impacts on willingness to try goat meat products but a more extensive list impacted regional demand. The perception held about goat meat had an impact on willingness to try the product, as the perception changed from positive the probability increased by more than 58 percent. The consumption of chicken, fish and lamb significantly impacted the willingness to try goat meat products. Respondents with a lamb consumption history were about 49 percent more willing to try goat meat products than non-lamb consumers. In addition, consumers that consume seafood more than twice weekly were more likely than others to show a willingness to try goat meat.
There was no significant difference observed in willingness to try goat meat by gender and educational attainment for Hispanics. However, a significant difference was observed by origin (Puerto Rican, Cuban, Mexican). There was not a significant difference in willingness to try goat meat products between those Hispanics that were first generation in the United States and those of more generations in the country. There was a significant age effect but younger Hispanic respondents than that of the general population were more willing to try goat meat products. The only two attitudinal factors significantly impacting willingness to try goat meat products among Hispanics were price specials and safety of the product. As with the general population sample, chicken and fish consumption among Hispanics significantly influenced their willingness to try goat meat products.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
Race is a critical factor for current goat meat consumption. Compared to whites, the odds ratio of goat consumption is .33 for American Blacks, 1.42 for Black non-African Americans and 1.18 for Hispanics. Older consumers were significantly more likely than other consumers to consume goat meat and the peak consuming age group is in the age range 55-74. Males are significantly more likely to be consumers of goat meat products than females.
Current per capita consumption of goat meat was shown to be somewhat low for consumers in the region (less than 4 pounds). However, willingness to consume more was reported by more than 48% of respondents.
Blacks and multi-culture households were found to be much more likely to increase consumption compared to others. In addition, prepacked products, labeling, and cooking instructions are factors that are expected to influence increases in consumption. Increases in demand from new consumers is likely to be influenced by store displays, price specials, in-supermarket tests and USDA inspections.
Blacks of non-African American origin tend to have less occasional consumption patterns but Hispanics and multi-racial respondents are likely to have more consumption associated with special occasions. Women that consume goat meat are more regular consumers than men. Females are also more likely to be year round goat meat consumers when compared to males that consume goat meat.
Professor of Agricultural Economics
Southern University & A&M College
Department of Agricultural Economics
Division of Agricultural Sciences
Baton Rogue, LA 70813
Office Phone: 2257715124
Assoc. Professor & Extension Small Ruminant Spec.
Fort Valley State University
College of Ag., Home Economics & Allied Programs
P.O. Box 4061, 1005 State University Drive
Fort Valley, GA 31030
Office Phone: 4788256955
Research Director & Professor of Agricultural Econ
Prairie View A&M University
College of Agriculture & Human Sciences
P.O. Box 2479
Prairie View, TX 77446
Office Phone: 9368572030
Professor of Agricultural Economics
University of Georgia
Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics
312 Conner Hall
Athens, GA 30602-7509
Office Phone: 7065420852
3304 Duhart Church Road
Stapleton, GA 30823-7112
Professor of Agricultural Economics
North Carolina A&T State University
Dept. of Agribusiness, Applied Econ. & Agriscience
C.H. Moore, A-26
Greensboro, NC 27411
Office Phone: 3363347054
Apalachee River Livestock Farm
1131Treadwell Bridge Road
Statham, GA 30666
Office Phone: 7707257926