A new survey from the American Lamb Board (ALB) reveals increasing consumer interest in lamb.
“This study revealed positive trends for lamb in the US,” said Jim Percival, ALB board chairman and sheep producer from Xenia, Ohio. “Among the General Population, 24% reported eating lamb in the last year, up from 20% in 2011 and 21% in 2006.”
The lamb usage and attitude study assessed consumers’ knowledge and preference levels of domestic and imported lamb and will assist industry stakeholders in making strong, strategic decisions about how to market U.S. lamb.
“The American Lamb Board has devoted more than a decade to building awareness and demand for Lamb,” said Megan Wortman, ALB executive director. “As we work through our 2018 strategic plan, advancing American Lamb’s value proposition is a core element. Understanding consumer attitudes and product usage patterns are also critical components.”
The online study was conducted during 2018 among 2,084 U.S. adults aged 18-74 years. The American Lamb Board has three target audiences including: Infrequent Lamb Users (those who eat lamb less than four times a year and/or only in restaurants), Thoughtful Eaters (those who are concerned about where their food comes from and how it’s grown) and Millennials (those who were born between 1980-2000 and who are also interested in food and where it comes from).
While consumer interest and enjoyment in lamb is growing, respondents said price and availability are the leading barriers to purchasing lamb in the meat case. The study also showed that learning more about preparing lamb, along with increased availability, could increase lamb usage.
“Half of General Population respondents indicated a willingness to learn how to cook lamb; this is even higher among the target groups as 79% of Infrequent Lamb Users, 59% of Thoughtful Eaters and 56% of Millennials showing an interest in learning about lamb cuts and cooking methods,” said Wortman.
In addition to preparation information, survey respondents desired to hear about locally raised, animal care, and assurances of antibiotic-free and no added hormones.