Diners are showing an increased interest in restaurant food sources, says NPA
Diners are showing an increased interest in where their meat is sourced from in restaurants, according to the National Pig Association (NPA).
Conventionally, diners are less concerned about where their food comes from in restaurants than they are when doing their weekly shop in supermarkets.
But new research shows that over half of consumers are now concerned about the provenance of meat when eating out, and over 65 per cent want restaurants to stock high levels of British meat to maintain confidence.
The research shows restaurants, pubs and fast-food outlets can now attract significantly more customers by stating on their menus where their meat comes from.
“Traditionally foodservice hasn’t been a great supporter of British pig farmers,” said NPA chief executive Dr Zoe Davies. “Many outlets preferred to buy imported product at the lowest possible price, rather than consider quality issues such as food miles, animal welfare and traceability.
“But now the world’s most successful restaurant chain, McDonald’s, is demonstrating it makes good business sense to source British pork, because that’s what customers want, particularly since Horsegate.”
The new research, commissioned by AHDB Pork, shows over 55 per cent of those questioned agree it is important to know where the meat they are served comes from. It also indicates that 52 per cent say having British produce on the menu is very or quite important to them, and 57 per cent say high animal welfare is very or quite important.
This shows a marked change in consumer attitudes to dining out, as earlier research by the Oxford Partnership in conjunction with AHDB Beef and Lamb found provenance was not a ‘must-have’ for consumers when eating meat out of the home.
“We welcome the change in attitude, which has been spearheaded by a few highly-respected big players in foodservice, such as McDonald’s,” said Zoe Davies. “It’s good news for Britain’s high-welfare pig farmers who, unlike their continental competitors, can offer a choice of indoor or free-range pork, and all stages in between.”
The online survey by OnePoll took place23rd to 25th October with a sample of 2,000.