The impact of food safety recalls on Canadian beef demand

A number of food safety events and recalls have raised consumer awareness about the risks associated with food borne pathogens.  While consumer confidence in the food safety system as a whole has not waned in the long run, food safety events can have important short and medium-term impacts.

A recent study led by Dr. John Cranfield at the University of Guelph examined whether food safety related recalls of beef and non-meat food products arising from possible E. coli contamination in Canada, and similar recalls in the U.S., affect beef demand in Canada. Continue reading

Does Canadian beef demand respond to quality improvements?

Beef demand is an indication of consumers’ willingness to purchase, and refers to how much beef will be consumed at a given price. Higher beef consumption at higher prices indicates stronger demand; smaller consumption at a lower price indicates weaker demand.  However, stronger demand can also be the result of lower consumption at higher prices or higher consumption at lower prices if the positive change is larger than the negative change. This is measured by the Canadian Retail Beef Demand Index.

Beef demand is influenced by consumer income, prices of competing proteins (e.g. poultry, pork and lentils) and evolving consumer preferences for convenience, health benefits and taste.  Continue reading