|dc.description.abstract||New Zealand is heavily reliant on the export of two major meat commodities, beef and lamb, to Europe and the United States. These developed markets are becoming increasingly volatile, and increasingly fragmented, as consumer affluence increases and food begins to compete with other activities for the consumers' time and money. A response to these trends has been an explosive increase in the production of value added food products in these markets, leading to meat being presented to consumers as a component of a wide variety of value added food products, rather than a product in its own right.
As a result consumers increasingly encounter 'beef' and 'lamb ' as cues on value added food products, rather than as stand alone meat products. Very little is known about how consumers react to beef and lamb in such situations. A model of how consumers could react to cues on value added products was advanced by Lesley de Chernatonay in 1991. This model is based on the Theory of Reasoned Action, which is assumed to be the basis of consumer purchase choice by the food industry. No food based research had been undertaken using this model.
In this thesis, the performance of the de Chernatonay model is tested with respect to the meat cue on value added food products. A highly aggressive experimental test is used that uses modern CADCAM technology to incorporate a systematic variation of the four meat cues (pork, beef lamb, chicken) into a large set of otherwise identical food products that were designed for the purpose. The Latin Square experimental design is used as a basis for the experimental pattern, after this technique has been thoroughly reviewed and updated. The major outcome of this review of the methodology of the Latin Square is the description and testing of an effective procedure for assessing the significance of interaction, which up to this point has rendered the Latin Square virtually unusable in market research.
The results of the experiments indicate that varying the meat group cue has no significant impact on the sample's evaluation of the food products that carry them, which throws the validity of de Chernatonay's model into doubt. A close examination of the assumptions underlying this model reveal that the assumption that one of these assumptions, that the Theory of Reasoned Action, and the process of consumer cue utilisation can be incorporated into the same decision process, may not be tenable with respect to food products. An alternative approach is proposed, based on the assumption that the cue utilisation process alone may be capable of approximating to consumer behaviour under such circumstances. Further research is outlined in order to investigate the validity of this proposition.||en_NZ