Key Findings from Perception and Consumer Behaviour Study

This summer, the Public Stakeholder and Engagement (PSE) team worked with a research and strategy firm to conduct a Canadian beef industry perception and consumer behaviour study. The findings provide a snapshot of the current consumer landscape and will allow for trend monitoring and adjustment of PSE’s outreach strategy over time.

The study surveyed 2,700 Canadians aged 18 and over, and results were weighted according to census data to ensure the sample matched Canada’s age, gender, education, and region demographics. Millennials were then oversampled to obtain deeper insights into this important demographic.

Key Findings:


  • The perception of the Canadian beef industry is positive. The industry is regarded as one that produces a high-quality product and has positive economic contributions for our country and communities.
  • Consumers trust farmers and they hold a more positive impression than the industry overall, so continued positioning of farmers front and centre in messaging and storytelling remains vital.
  • Most are still eating a lot/some meat, and they are comfortable with the amount they are consuming.
  • Millennials think beef products are high quality and healthy. They are also less concerned with price than the average Canadian.


  • The types of meat Canadians are choosing to eat is changing to include less beef and pork and more chicken and seafood. Millennials are eating more protein alternatives. Cost and perceived environmental impacts are likely the biggest drivers for this change.
  • The use of antibiotics and hormones remains an area of key concern, as does the humane treatment of animals.
  • Increasing the presence of positive content on beef, especially on Social Media, where millennials are currently getting their information, is likely to have a positive impact on their perceptions.
  • Sharing information about the beef industry with Canadians is likely to yield positive dividends. This is especially true when combatting misperceptions of environmental impact.

Overall, the survey found there is an appetite to learn about where beef comes from and confirmation that this growth in knowledge leads to more positive impressions of the industry.

By Tayla Fraser December 2, 2020

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