GAINESVILLE — For Floridians looking to cut down on beef and pork, lamb and goat meat have proven to be a welcome addition to their plates.
But figuring out who wants to buy these meats and how much people are willing to pay for them can be tricky. University of Florida researchers found that Florida consumers most willing to buy lamb and goat meat were adventurous, younger (Millennials and Gen Z), had tasted these meats before and liked them or held a belief of cultural significance for these meats.
This means companies marketing lamb and goat meat would be best off advertising to those demographics, said lead researcher John Lai, UF/IFAS assistant professor in food and resource economics.
In addition, the researchers found that Florida consumers are willing to pay, on average, $4.70 per pound for goat meat and $4.12 per pound for lamb, he said.
“Whenever there’s a major university in a city, that city might be a good target for this industry because it naturally targets these demographics,” said Bachir Kassas, a researcher on this study and UF/IFAS assistant professor of food and resource economics.
Lai said this study revealed another marketing strategy that could be useful for producers: taste tests. The research revealed people who had tasted lamb and goat before and liked it were more willing to buy the product, so doing free taste tests at grocery stores could help bridge that gap.
“Go after people who are adventurous,” he said. “Let them have an opportunity to taste it. If they like it, that will drive their willingness to pay.”
The study was conducted through an online market research survey where a representative group of Florida’s population was asked a series of questions about their lifestyle and personality, and then they were asked how much they would pay for certain products of lamb meat and goat meat.
The study found that those least likely to buy lamb and goat meat were members of older generations, such as Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation. Hispanic people were statistically less likely to want to buy goat meat.