Consumer behaviour related to rabbit meat as functional food

Dacinia Crina Petrescu, Ruxandra Malina Petrescu-Mag


Rabbit is one of the most versatile livestock species, responding successfully to bio-economic principles, which promote a clever use of resources and their conversion into added value products, such as functional foods (FFs). The excellent nutritive and dietetic properties of rabbit meat justify granting it the attributes of FFs. Based on the premise that it is the consumer who ultimately decides what kind of meat to buy, a consumer focus should be a core factor in private or public meat sector strategies. Following this assumption, the aim of this study is to contribute to understanding Romanian consumer behaviour related to rabbit meat as a functional food and to provide information on how to better market rabbit meat as FF in the domestic market. As far as the authors know, this study is the first one to assess and report on Romanian consumer perceptions, knowledge and behaviours related to rabbit meat. Consequently, the variables investigated reflect rabbit meat consumption habits. They also reveal preferences related to the acquisition of rabbit meat, perceptions on future rabbit meat consumption, perceptions of rabbit meat characteristics, perceptions of rabbit meat main characteristics compared to other types of meat, and rabbit meat consumption deterrents. The survey results show that rabbit meat is perceived as lean and low cholesterol, healthier and tastier than other meats, but more expensive, that its consumption is low, being 2.2 times lower than chicken and 1.8 times lower than pork, and that 29.6% of people surveyed have never eaten rabbit meat. The findings ascertain that the understanding of Romanian consumer behaviour related to rabbit meat as FF is an optimal tool for changing behaviour patterns towards a more sustainable market. The transfer of this knowledge towards marketers mainly focusing on how to increase consumer satisfaction for FFs, especially meat, is the leverage for designing successful businesses regarding market re-orientation, development or even reduction of health cost.


consumer behaviour; rabbit meat; functional food; sustainability

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