September 6, 2022

Consumer taste-test results show that Australian goat meat has a high acceptance among domestic consumers who scored it, on average, over 50 points, which means it is considered a good everyday product. This has flagged the meat’s potential for domestic consumption.

The studies were undertaken as part of a research project led by Dr Jarrod Lees at the University of New England (UNE). He was investigating whether farmed, high-quality goat meat can be differentiated by consumers as effectively as beef and lamb.

“The Australian goat meat industry slaughtered 1.54 million goats in 2019, valued at over A$182 million, with more than 95% exported,” said Lees. “Domestic consumption of goat meat is very low and Meat & Livestock Australia research has shown the top three barriers to purchasing it are familiarity, availability and not knowing how to cook it. However, with record prices offered for slaughter and breeding goats, there is an opportunity to develop and market high quality goat meat.”

Careful research

Lees undertook the research at UNE utilising 12 Boer goat carcasses weighing 23–24kg, procured from a commercial partner and processed at a domestic abattoir in Western New South Wales. Carcasses were boned out into eating quality samples, using cuts presented similarly to lamb including the loin, rack, rump, shoulder, leg, shank and knuckle.

goat research
The research at UNE used 12 Boer goat carcasses weighing 23–24kg.

Consumer sensory sessions were conducted in Armidale and Port Macquarie with a total of 180 random consumers split into three groups to evaluate the eating quality and acceptability of goat meat served as grilled, roasted and slow cooked samples. The Meat Standards Australia (MSA) consumer taste-testing methods were used, along with the same MSA measurements utilised in processing. Sensory samples were scored for tenderness, juiciness, flavour and overall liking.

Willingness to pay

Lees said that the results not only demonstrated consumer acceptance of goat meat but also “their willingness to pay in a domestic setting”, with scores averaging over 50 points. “Consumers scored some samples as better than every day and premium,” added the researcher.

He continued: “This provides a positive outlook on goat meat. Furthermore, with an average willingness to pay A$18/kg for good everyday meat, and A$32/kg for premium quality, there is a sure market for goat meat in Australia.”

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