Chain Transparency Increasingly Important for Dutch Consumers

NETHERLANDS - The sixth edition of the "Vion Consumer Monitor" shows that consumers are very positive about the quality of Dutch meat: over 65 per cent judges this to be 'excellent'.
calendar icon 11 July 2017
clock icon 3 minute read

The aspects which most influence the opinion of the consumer when purchasing meat are the quality of the meat, an orderly display on the shelves, the confidence that they are buying an honest piece of meat and a good price-quality ratio.

Transparent food chain

The Vion Consumer Monitor also shows that the confidence of the consumer in the meat production in the Netherlands being well regulated is high. The ‘Monitor Keurmerken Retail’ (Monitor Quality Labels Retail) of research bureau IRI already had shown, at the start of June, that consumers are increasingly aware of their own influence on the food chain: in Dutch supermarkets, the sales of meat and processed meats with a ‘Beter Leven’ (Better Life) sustainability claim surged over the last year (meat: + 25 per cent, processed meat products: +295 per cent)[1].

At Vion, during 2016, the number of Good Farming Star (1 Star Beter Leven Label) pigs processed increased by over 30 per cent. The basis for this is the fact that retailers such as Albert Heijn have made great progress in increasing the sustainability of the offer (for instance the processed meat products).

Meat: the most delicious part of the hot meal

In the survey of some 2,500 households included in the ‘GfK huishoudpanel’ (households panel), many call meat the most delicious part of the hot meal. Never before did so many consumers consider meat an essential part of the hot meal. It is a fact that the consumer is increasingly critical, but also certainly appreciates a nice bit of meat now and then. Offering sufficient variety and guaranteed product quality contributes to meat remaining within the nutritional pattern of consumers, even in the future.

Steaks are popular

In answer to the question 'Which would be the preferred meat after a month on an uninhabited island?', steak is most often cited, with or without being combined with a sauce or with mushrooms. Other favourites are: pork loin, meatball, hamburger, chicken, beef stew, schnitzel. But other conventional products are also on the list, such as belly pork, pork chops, satay, spare ribs and rolled joints. In the category 'less usual' but no less delicious, Vion found products such as: Beef Wellington, fricandel, a grilled chicken, Hema smoked sausage, beef skirt, Sauerbraten.


This year the Vion Consumer Monitor includes an extensive segmentation of the consumer groups for the first time. It is based on purchasing behaviour, socio-demographic characteristics and attitudes of consumers purchasing meat. As a point in case, there is a clear difference between for instance ‘Saturday bulkies’ (mainly shop on Saturday, take into account CSR aspects), ‘organic believers’ (consumers who buy a lot of organic meat), ‘pork lovers’ (real pork lovers, a bit chauvinistic at times) and ‘minced meaters’ (lovers of mince, prefer not to pay too much).

This new, additional, segmentation provides an even clearer picture of the meat buying consumer, even at individual formula level. By combining the various sources of knowledge, the image of the consumer becomes clearer, allowing targeted use of the opportunities supplied by the specific needs.

Vion Consumer Monitor

The Vion Consumer Monitor is aimed at a better understanding of the person who buys meat and the meat buying process. This year, the research was carried out for the sixth time. The Monitor contains extensive consumer information about the perception, wishes, spending habits and the purchasing process regarding meat. For each retailer, the research analyses specific growth possibilities and points of improvement for the further development of the meat category, and for optimising returns.

[1] Source: IRI Monitor Keurmerken Retail 2016

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