• An Assessment of the Irish Speciality Food Enterprises’ use of the Internet as a Marketing Tool

      Canavan, Orla; Henchion, Maeve; O’Reilly, Seamus; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Teagasc, 01/04/2005)
      This study set out to explore the role of the Internet as a marketing tool for Irish speciality food producers and to research on-line speciality food sales as a business opportunity. The project achieved this through a combination of consumer focus groups, a producer web audit, producer depth interviews and an e-mailed on-line producer survey. Irish consumers acknowledged potential for on-line sales of Irish speciality food products to export and gift markets; however they could not see significant advantages for on-line sales in the domestic market. Experience with the product (and consequent importance of the purchase experience), the high delivery cost of an already premium priced product and difficulties associated with receipt of deliveries were identified as the main reasons for not purchasing on-line.
    • An assessment of the Irish speciality food enterprises’ use of the internet as a marketing tool

      Canavan, Orla; Henchion, Maeve; O'Reilly, Seamus (Teagasc, 2005-04)
      This study set out to explore the role of the Internet as a marketing tool for Irish speciality food producers and to research on-line speciality food sales as a business opportunity. The project achieved this through a combination of consumer focus groups, a producer web audit, producer depth interviews and an e-mailed on-line producer survey. Irish consumers acknowledged potential for on-line sales of Irish speciality food products to export and gift markets; however they could not see significant advantages for on-line sales in the domestic market. Experience with the product (and consequent importance of the purchase experience), the high delivery cost of an already premium priced product and difficulties associated with receipt of deliveries were identified as the main reasons for not purchasing on-line.
    • The climatic impact of food consumption in a representative sample of Irish adults and implications for food and nutrition policy

      Hyland, John J.; Henchion, Maeve; McCarthy, Mary; McCarthy, Sinead; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland; 13/F/527 (Cambridge University Press, 26/09/2016)
      To evaluate the greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) associated with the diet of Irish adults. GHGE were estimated by applying conversion factors to habitual food consumption data taken from the National Adult Nutrition Survey, which was representative of the population. Descriptive analyses were undertaken for GHGE for the total population, as well as accounting for energy misreporting and across categories of sociodemographic and socio-economic factors and tertiles of emissions. Republic of Ireland. Adults aged 18–87 years (n 1500). The GHGE derived from daily dietary intakes was estimated as 6·5 kg of CO2 equivalents (CO2eq) per person. Males, younger consumers, those with secondary education and student employment status were associated with significantly higher GHGE. Red meat was the highest contributor to GHGE with 1646 g CO2eq arising from a mean intake of 47 g/d. Dairy and starchy staples were the next largest dietary GHGE sources, with mean daily emissions of 732 g CO2eq and 647 g CO2eq, respectively. The lowest emissions were associated with consumption of vegetables, fruits and legumes/pulses/nuts. Based on profiling using actual food consumption data, it is evident that one single measure is not sufficient and a range of evidence-based mitigation measures with potential to lower emissions throughout the food chain should be considered. The research contributes towards an improved understanding of the climatic impact of the dietary intakes of Irish adults and can serve to inform a sustainability framework to guide action in food and nutrition policy
    • Commercial systems for ultra-rapid chilling of lamb

      Redmond, Grainne; McGeehin, Brian; Henchion, Maeve; Sheridan, James J.; Troy, Declan J.; Cowan, Cathal; Butler, Francis (Teagasc, 2001-08)
      The overall objective was to devise a rapid chilling system for the Irish lamb processing industry. The objective of the first trial was to assess the effect of ultra-rapid chilling in air at - 4ºC, -10ºC and -20ºC and subsequent ageing on the appearance and tenderness of lamb carcasses. The objective of the next trial was to investigate the effect of carcass splitting, which produces faster chilling rates and reduces skeletal constraint of muscles, on the tenderness of rapidly and conventionally chilled lamb. The next task was to compare the effects of immersion chilling and conventional air chilling on meat tenderness and evaporative weight loss in lamb carcasses. The next task was to assess the level of interest in industry. This required costings of the process and a survey of several lamb processors focusing on their perceptions of rapid chilling in general, its advantages and disadvantages, and the implications of adopting the new system. The final objective was to introduce the ultra-rapid chilling process to industry via a factory trial. Lambs were ultra-rapidly chilled and then exported to France for assessment.
    • The competitiveness of the Irish food processing industry

      Pitts, Eamonn; O'Connell, Larry; McCarthy, Breda (Teagasc, 2001-07)
      Ways of measuring industrial competitiveness are discussed and an analysis of the competitiveness of the food sector as a whole and of three sub-sectors are presented. The techniques employed were Revealed Comparative Advantage and the Porter Diamond.
    • Complexity and conundrums. Citizens’ evaluations of potentially contentious novel food technologies using a deliberative discourse approach

      Greehy, Grainne M.; McCarthy, Mary B.; Henchion, Maeve; Dillon, Emma J.; McCarthy, Sinead N.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland (Elsevier, 12/07/2013)
      This research considers the processes involved in the formation of attitudes by citizens on potentially contentious novel food technologies (NFTs). Observations of one-to-one deliberative discourses between food scientists and citizens, during which they discussed these technologies, form the basis of this enquiry. This approach enables an exploration of how individuals construct meaning around as well as interpret information about the technologies. Thematic analysis identifies key features that provide the frameworks for citizens’ evaluations. How individuals make sense of these technologies is shaped by their beliefs, values and personal characteristics; their perceptions of power and control over the development and sale of NFT related products; and, the extent to which these products are relevant to their personal lives. Internal negotiations between these influences are evident, and evaluations are based on the relative importance of each influence to the individual. Internal conflicts and tensions are associated with citizens’ evolving evaluative processes, which may in turn present as attitude ambivalence and instability. Many challenges are linked with engaging with the general public about these technologies, as levels of knowledge, understanding and interest vary.
    • Consumer Assessment of Unmet Needs in the Development of Targeted and Appropriate Novel Food for the Over Sixty Fives

      Cummins, Helen; Corish, C. A.; Roche, H. M.; McCarthy, Sinead N.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland (Oxford University Press, 2016-09)
      Opportunities exist to produce foods specifically targeted to over 65s in order to promote healthy ageing. These findings have the potential to influence public health and nutrition policy developments in Ireland.
    • Consumer attributes of farmhouse cheese and honey

      Cowan, Cathal; Murphy, Maurice; Daly, Eimear; Meehan, Hilary; Henchion, Maeve; Pitts, Eamonn; Delahunty, Conor; O'Reilly, Seamus; European Commission; CT95 -0360 (Teagasc, 2000-12)
      This study determined the ideal combination of attributes of farmhouse cheese (cheddar-type) and farmhouse honey for different consumer segments.
    • Consumer evaluations of processed meat products reformulated to be healthier – A conjoint analysis study

      Shan, Liran C.; de Brun, Aoife; Henchion, Maeve; Li, Chenguan; Murrin, Celine; Wall, Patrick J.; monahan, Frank J.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland; 11/F/035 (Elsevier, 01/05/2017)
      Recent innovations in processed meats focus on healthier reformulations through reducing negative constituents and/or adding health beneficial ingredients. This study explored the influence of base meat product (ham, sausages, beef burger), salt and/or fat content (reduced or not), healthy ingredients (omega 3, vitamin E, none), and price (average or higher than average) on consumers' purchase intention and quality judgement of processed meats. A survey (n = 481) using conjoint methodology and cluster analysis was conducted. Price and base meat product were most important for consumers' purchase intention, followed by healthy ingredient and salt and/or fat content. In reformulation, consumers had a preference for ham and sausages over beef burgers, and for reduced salt and/or fat over non reduction. In relation to healthy ingredients, omega 3 was preferred over none, and vitamin E was least preferred. Healthier reformulations improved the perceived healthiness of processed meats. Cluster analyses identified three consumer segments with different product preferences.
    • Consumer perceptions of meat quality

      Cowan, Cathal; Mannion, Michael; Langan, John; Keane, John B. (Teagasc, 1999-10)
      This study describes the policies in place for meat quality in six EU states, ascertains the consumer perception of quality for beef, pork and chicken and suggests how quality policy can be improved so it better meets the perceived needs of consumers.
    • The creation of a healthy eating motivation score and its association with food choice and physical activity in a cross sectional sample of Irish adults

      Naughton, Paul; McCarthy, Sinead N.; McCarthy, Mary B. (Biomed Central, 06/06/2015)
      Background This study aimed to develop a healthy eating motivation score and to determine if dietary, lifestyle and activity behaviours vary across levels of motivation to eat a healthy diet with a view to informing health promotion interventions. Methods A cross-sectional survey of food intake, physical activity, lifestyles and food choice attitudes was conducted in a nationally representative sample of 1262 adults in the Republic of Ireland aged 18 years and over. Results Increasing score for health motivation was significantly and positively related to healthy eating and exercise. Women, increasing age, normal BMI, regular exercise and increasing intakes of fruit and vegetables were associated with a higher odds ratio (OR) for having a high healthy eating motivation score. However, despite a high motivation score only 31 % of consumers in the strong motivation group achieved the recommendations for daily fruit and vegetable consumption, while 57 % achieved the fat recommendation. A higher intake of calorie dense foods from the top shelf of the food pyramid and increased time spent watching T.V. was associated with a decreased OR for positive motivation towards healthy eating. Conclusions Healthy eating promotions directed at women and older adults should focus on supporting people’s motivations to attain a healthy diet by addressing issues such as dietary self-control and self-regulation. For men and younger adults, healthy eating promotions will need to address the issues underlying their weak attitudes towards healthy eating.
    • Development of a Strategic Approach for a Single EU Beef Market. Extensification. An Analysis of National and Competitive Issues

      Dunne, Liam; Shanahan, Ultan; O’Connell, John (Teagasc, 31/12/2008)
      The economic merits of the two Options for extensification under Agenda 2000 were evaluated in relation to their ability to generate revenue and their impact on the competitiveness of Irish cattle farming.
    • Evaluation of beef eating quality by Irish consumers

      McCarthy, Sinead; Henchion, Maeve; White, A.; Brandon, K.; Allen, Paul; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland; 04/R&D/TN/256 (Elsevier, 08/05/2017)
      A consumer's decision to purchase beef is strongly linked to its sensory properties and consistent eating quality is one of the most important attributes. Consumer taste panels were held according to the Meat Standards Australia guidelines and consumers scored beef according to its palatability attributes and completed a socio-demographic questionnaire. Consumers were able to distinguish between beef quality on a scale from unsatisfactory to premium with high accuracy. Premium cuts of beef scored significantly higher on all of the scales compared to poorer quality cuts. Men rated grilled beef higher on juiciness and flavour scales compared to women. Being the main purchaser of beef had no impact on rating scores. Overall the results show that consumers can judge eating quality with high accuracy. Further research is needed to determine how best to communicate inherent benefits that are not visible into extrinsic eating quality indicators, to provide the consumer with consistent indications of quality at the point of purchase.
    • Examining the ‘cultural sustainability’ of two different ways of governing fishing practices

      Gustavsson, Madeleine; School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool (Elsevier, 26/03/2018)
      Research has suggested there is a need for an increased attention to the socio-cultural lifeworlds of fishers and fisheries and its importance for fisheries management. An emerging response to this call has been to examine the social and cultural contexts of ‘good fishing’ – an idea which, drawing on the work of Pierre Bourdieu, has sought to move the discussion beyond simply the economic aspects of fishing to also understand the importance of other forms of capital. Utilising these concepts together with the conceptual idea of ‘knowledge cultures’, the following paper examines the ‘cultural sustainability’ of different ways of governing fishing practices – in particular Marine Conservation Zones and voluntary lobster v-notching using a case study approach to the small-scale fishery of Llŷn peninsula, North Wales (UK). The paper observes that those approaches that allow fishers to demonstrate skills and recognises the temporal contingency of fishing lives can be considered more culturally sustainable than others. This paper also notes that culturally acceptable changes to fishing practices can be supported by fishing regulations and, the paper suggests, such innovations are more likely to be taken up by fishers in their everyday fishing practices. The paper recommends that policies seeking to alter fishing practices consider: i) the importance fishers’ hold in demonstrating their skills; ii) how social relations are as important as economic aspects to fishers’ long-term uptake of new practices; and iii) how the past and the future (such as if a successor is present) holds significance for fishers’ actions in the present.
    • Factors Shaping Expenditure on Food-Away-from-Home in Irish and UK Households

      Keelan, Conor; Henchion, Maeve; Newman, Carol; Downey, Gerard; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Teagasc, 01/10/2009)
      Factors influencing consumer spending in two sectors of the food-away-from-home (FAFH) market (quick-service e.g. takeaways, and full-service e.g. restaurants) were analysed using national household expenditure survey data. Different variables affect expenditure in the two sectors in different ways. Income has a greater effect on expenditure in the full-service sector than in the quick-service sector. Similarly households that are health-conscious indicate a greater preference for full-service meals while households which place more value on time (and therefore are more convenience-oriented) indicate a greater preference for quick-service. Households of a higher social class and those with higher education levels also appear to favour full-service expenditure. In addition, younger, urbanised households favour quickservice meal options. The results emphasise the merits of analysing different sectors within the FAFH market separately.
    • Factors shaping expenditure on meat and prepared meals

      Newman, Carol; Henchion, Maeve; Matthews, Alan (Teagasc, 2002-02)
      The factors shaping Irish households' expenditure decisions on meat and prepared meals are analysed using the two most recent datasets of the Irish Household Budget Survey (1987/8 and 1994/5). The motivation for the research stems from the changing pattern of food consumption, leading to a decline in the importance of price and income factors, and a simultaneous increase in the significance of socio-demographic factors, assumed to underpin consumers' tastes and preferences. Irish households' expenditure patterns on all meat, specific meat categories and prepared meals are analysed using tobit, double-hurdle and infrequency of purchase models.
    • Factors that predict consumer acceptance of enriched processed meats

      Shan, Liran C.; Henchion, Maeve; de Brun, Aoife; Murrin, Celine; Wall, Patrick G.; Monahan, Frank J.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland; 11/F/035 (Elsevier, 08/07/2017)
      The study aimed to understand predictors of consumers' purchase intention towards processed meat based functional foods (i.e. enriched processed meat). A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 486 processed meat consumers in spring 2016. Results showed that processed meats were perceived differently in healthiness, with sausage-type products perceived less healthy than cured meat products. Consumers were in general more uncertain than positive about enriched processed meat but differences existed in terms of the attitudes and purchase intention. Following regression analysis, consumers' purchase intention towards enriched processed meat was primarily driven by their attitudes towards the product concept. Perceived healthiness of existing products and eating frequency of processed meat were also positively associated with the purchase intention. Other factors such as general food choice motives, socio-demographic characteristics, consumer health and the consumption of functional foods and dietary supplements in general, were not significant predictors of the purchase intention for enriched processed meat.
    • Food choice and consumer concerns about animal welfare in Ireland

      Meehan, Hilary; Cowan, Cathal; McIntyre, Bridin; European Commission; CT98-3678 (Teagasc, 2002-04)
      Consumer concerns about farm animal welfare and the impact of these concerns on food choice in Ireland were investigated. The aim was to identify and analyse the nature and level of consumer concern. The qualitative and quantitative studies demonstrated that although consumers are concerned about farm animal welfare, this concern is not a priority in food choice. Consumers use animal welfare as an indicator of other product attributes such as food safety, quality and healthiness, which they usually perceive as more important. Consequently, consumers equate good animal welfare standards with good food standards.
    • Food Market studies in - meat packaging, nutritional meat products, speciality cheeses, extruded meats

      Cowan, Cathal; Meehan, Hilary; McIntyre, Bridin; Cronin, Tom (Teagasc, 2001-05)
      This project provided market information to researchers on the likely market success of their innovations in the following four areas: anoxic (oxygen free) packaging, developing new meat products with enhanced nutritional properties & consumer acceptability, speciality cheeses, and convenience meat products.
    • Food-related lifestyle (frl) segments and the speciality foods market in Great Britain

      Cowan, Cathal; Wycherley, Aoife; McCarthy, Mary (Teagasc, 2008-06)
      This report deals with the speciality food orientation of British consumers. Two approaches to segmentation were taken which were related to two project objectives. Firstly, to understand the degree to which food-related lifestyle (FRL) segments identified in Great Britain in 2003 (Buckley et al., 2003) are speciality orientated and secondly, to segment British consumers based on their speciality food orientation. This study provides an insight into what motivates individuals to purchase speciality foods.