Consumer Valuation of Alternative Meat Origin Labels


  • Glynn T. Tonsor,

  • Ted C. Schroeder,

  • Jayson L. Lusk

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    • Glynn T. Tonsor is a Associate Professor and Ted C. Schroeder is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA. E-mail: for correspondence. Jayson L. Lusk is a Professor and Willard Sparks Endowed Chair in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA. The views expressed here are those of the authors and may not be attributed to the US Department of Agriculture which the authors acknowledge for providing partial funding support for this research (2009-04126). The authors also acknowledge the valuable assistance of Kayode Ajewole, Andrea Granger, Daja Menefee and Iddrisu Yahaya in development of the consumer survey.


Results from a split-sample survey of the US population reveal consumers prefer meat products carrying origin information to unlabelled alternatives. Consumers are largely unaware of origin labelling laws and are indifferent to an important aspect of the implementation of current mandatory country of origin information rules in the US. In particular, consumers value meat products labelled ‘Product of North America’ approximately the same as ‘Product of United States’. Despite the similarity of these two labels, they have vastly different implications in terms of trade and segregation costs. Our results suggest that a transition from one label to the other is equally satisfying for the consumer while being less costly for processors and more acceptable to trade partners.