January 24, 2017
As consumer demand for pork remains high, Millennials state that what pigs eat has a strong influence on their pork buying habits, according to a Cargill "Feed4Thought" consumer survey.
The survey, which polled more than 2,000 people in the U.S. and Spain, found that 43% of American Millennials say a pig's diet influences their purchasing decisions. In Spain, the second-largest pork-producing country in Europe, about 65% of Millennials felt the same way.
"Many consumers, Millennials in particular, are speaking loudly about the importance of knowing what is on the dinner table and where it came from," said Patrick Duerksen, Cargill global marketing director, pork. "It is important for Cargill and others in the agricultural supply chain to help consumers understand that the pork they eat was produced in a healthy and responsible manner."
The survey found that, overall, one-third of all U.S. consumers (32%) say a pig's diet influences their purchasing decisions, compared to 60% of consumers in Spain. American Baby Boomers and Gen Xers place less importance on the diets of the pigs they consume, with 32% and 26%, respectively, saying a pig's diet influences their purchasing decisions.
In both countries, Millennials place the highest importance on pigs' diets, but they also have the lowest level of trust that the pigs they eat are raised on what they consider a healthy diet. According to Cargill, 42% of American Millennials don't trust that their pork is raised on a healthy diet — significantly more than Baby Boomers (32%). In Spain, 67% of Millennials don't trust that diets fed to pigs are healthy.
"The U.S. pork industry works hard to conduct research and improve the nutritional balance of swine diets," said Dr. Chris Hostetler, National Pork Board director of animal science. "It is incumbent upon us to raise pigs in a healthy, safe and responsible manner. That begins with diet and nutrition."
Pig diets largely consist of corn, soybean meal, vitamins and minerals. Beyond those base ingredients, Cargill — along with others in the feed industry — has developed precise feed formulations with probiotics, antioxidants and essential oils to promote better gut health, digestion and metabolism. Just like in humans, gut health in pigs is an important factor in proper nutrition.
"Our precision nutrition approach ultimately is more sustainable and lowers the amount of feed and resources needed to raise pigs," Duerksen said. "This is important work that we know can have an impact on meeting consumer demand but also help us feed a growing global population."
According to Cargill, additional results of the survey include:
* 94% of American consumers eat pork, and 52% of them say bacon is their favorite pork product.
* 98% of Spanish consumers eat pork, and 74% of them say ham is their favorite pork product.
* Only 10% of both U.S. and Spanish consumers have an accurate idea of how much feed it takes to raise a pig to market weight.
* 37% of U.S. Millennials think it takes more land and water to raise pigs today than it did 50 years ago. (In fact, a 2012 study by the National Pork Board found that farmers actually use 78% less land and 41% less water to raise pigs).
* 39% of Spanish Millennials think it takes more land and water to raise pigs than it did 50 years ago.
"Feed4Thought" is a regular consumer survey effort from Cargill Animal Nutrition that explores key perceptions and opinions about important topics in the animal protein supply chain. The online survey was conducted in December 2016 by ORC International. The U.S. survey polled a demographically representative sample of 1,055 American adults, and the Spanish survey polled a demographically representative sample of 1,000 Spanish adults.
You May Also Like
House passes rail contract, mandates sick timeJan 12, 2023
Current Conditions for
New York, NY
Enter a zip code to see the weather conditions for a different location.
Simple EggonomicsSep 07, 2023
Trending headlines from Sept. 18-22Sep 21, 2023
Harvest pressure continues to rattle grain pricesAug 01, 2023
Initial startup of ammonia recovery technology successfulSep 21, 2023