A look around the local grocery store might show images of consumers reading meat labels or checking the expiration date on a gallon of milk.
Each consumer has a set of values when making food purchases, and the level of importance placed on each value allow for food producers and distributors to better meet the needs of their end user.
A recent nationwide online survey of U.S. consumers by Kansas State University found that freshness and safety were the most important values consumers placed on buying popular livestock products: milk, ground beef, beef steak and chicken breast.
The findings for livestock-specific products were consistent with prior research examining consumers' general food values.
Ted Schroeder, professor and livestock economist for Kansas State Research and Extension, worked with other faculty and graduate students in the department of agricultural economics on this research.
Schroeder said as consumers make decisions to purchase food products, they might think about taste, underlying production practices, concerns they have about production, safeness, freshness, quality and price, to name a few.