The UK has the best market performance for meat in the EU, according to a report.

With a score 3.8% above the EU average, the UK is the top performing meat and meat products market based on factors including comparability, trust, problems and complaints, switching behaviour and fulfillment of expectations.

Finland and Malta had the next highest market performance indicators with 103.5 and 103.1 respectively, while Bulgaria had the lowest with 86.9.

The study looked at what drives consumer purchasing behaviour in the EU meat market, after meat was found to be one of the worst performing goods markets two years ago.

The most important factor for consumers were sensory cues, such as the meat looking fresh (10.2%) and tasty (8.7%) and displayed hygienically (8.4%), but price was also a key factor.

Whether the meat was organic or high welfare was seen to be less important, with only 3.3% and 4.8% of consumers saying they were important factors.

The EU recommended further monitoring of price formation in the meat supply chain, as consumer satisfaction with price was very low. This will include analysis to assess to what extent meat prices reflect the production costs or excessive margins at certain stages of the supply chain.

Consumers should also be educated by meat industry stakeholders, focusing on better understanding of the effect of meat consumption on health and using more objective criteria in their assessment of safety levels of meat, the report recommended.

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