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Consumer attitudes toward dairy products from sheep and goats: a cross-continental perspective

Vargas-Bello-Pérez, E. ORCID:, Tajonar, K., Foggi, G. ORCID:, Mele, M. ORCID:, Simitzis, P. ORCID:, Mavrommatis, A., Tsiplakou, E. ORCID:, Habib, M. R. ORCID:, Gonzalez-Ronquillo, M. ORCID: and Toro-Mujica, P. ORCID: (2022) Consumer attitudes toward dairy products from sheep and goats: a cross-continental perspective. Journal of Dairy Science, 105 (11). pp. 8718-8733. ISSN 0022-0302

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3168/jds.2022-21894


This study aimed to assess consumer knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions toward dairy products from sheep and goats. A web-based survey was conducted in Latin America (Mexico and Chile), Europe (Italy, Spain, Greece, and Denmark), and Asia (Bangladesh). From March to June 2021, adult participants answered an online survey available in 5 languages. In total, 1,879 surveys were completed. Categorical and ordinal data were analyzed as frequencies and percentages. To determine the relationship between the variables for purchasing and consumption behaviors of respondents who declared that they consume dairy products, a multiple correspondence analysis was carried out. Most completed surveys were from Mexico and Italy (30% and 33.7%, respectively). Most respondents were between 18 and 29 yr old, female, highly educated, and employed. The majority of respondents (70.8%) declared that they consume dairy products from small ruminants. Consumers preferred products from both sheep and goats (49.4%); however, it was observed that in Mexico, Denmark, and Bangladesh, more than 50% preferred goat dairy products. The most-consumed products were mature and fresh cheeses. Mature cheese was the most-preferred product in Chile; in Mexico, Italy, Greece, and Denmark, it was fresh cheese. Unlike the rest of the countries, in Bangladesh, dairy product consumption from small ruminants was observed by more than 30% of respondents. In Mexico, a higher percentage of people do not consume sheep or goat dairy products because they are unfamiliar with them. In Mexico, Chile, and Bangladesh, limited market availability was also a variable responsible for nonconsumption. In European and Asian countries, sheep and goat dairy products are not consumed because consumers dislike them, in addition to a greater awareness of sustainability and climate change issues. The multiple correspondence analysis defined 5 dimensions. Dimension 1 was associated with the geographic location of the respondent (country and continent), the type of milk (sheep or goat), and the consideration of well-being and health as characteristics associated with the consumption of dairy products from small ruminants. Dimension 2 was associated with the respondent's country of origin and the frequency of consumption. Dimension 3 was associated with gender, education, and employment status. Dimension 4 was associated with the respondent's age, the association of the “healthy” concept of sheep and goat dairy products, and the consideration of the nutritional benefits of dairy as responsible for considering them healthy. Dimension 5 was associated with a “strong smell and taste” of sheep and goat dairy products. This study showed that consumer attitudes toward dairy products from sheep and goats vary between continents. In conclusion, results showed consumer interest in animal welfare and environmental impact issues related to small ruminant farming as well as a general attraction to local products. It seems that these factors contribute to consumers' perception of the quality of dairy products, so the industry and select farmers should carefully consider incorporating them into their supply chain.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Animal Sciences
ID Code:108404


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