Jeffrey Fisher, Richard Stock, David A. Mangione, Larry A. Nye


Six focus groups were conducted with each having ten people who attend different Islamic Centers in Ohio. The objective of the focus groups was to understand Halal meat purchase patterns and consumption patterns of the Moslem population with special attention to goat. The Ohio State University Extension personnel are utilizing these results to work with meat goat producers to understand and meet the requirements of the Halal meat market.  Participants discussed the Zabiha approach to slaughtering animals as the most merciful by causing the least pain. Many participants noted they had no way of knowing where the animal  came from and this held tremendous concerns relative to the feeding of animal by-products, use of hormones, and adulteration with pork. These trust concerns led to decisions about where to purchase their meat with 72% purchasing from a Moslem owned retail store. Only 13% purchased from a large grocery and 8% direct from a farmer.   Participants indicated their consumption patterns according to weekly, seasonal, and holiday use in addition to variations according to their personal geographic origin. The average meat purchase was 23 pounds with an average occurrence of 12.5 times per annum.  Purchasing trends indicated that 78% prefer lean over marbled cuts. Nearly 86% prefer fresh over frozen goat meat and nearly a third responded that they would pay more for fresh. Intact males were preferred by 42% of the respondents. Preferences for meat goat cuts were: Leg (71%), Chops (42%), Shoulder (24%), Breast (7%). Nearly a third indicated they also want the kidneys, heart, or head. Demographic shifts in the United States indicate that there are almost 53 million people who have a preference for goat meat. There are 2.4 million goats in the US according to the 2007 Agricultural Statistics. Based on consumption trends of this study, goat demand exceeds inventory by 160%. Meat goat consumer trends are changing regarding religious concerns, convenience, food safety, and food quality issues. Opportunities exist to develop niche marketing opportunities for fresh goat with local ethnic or faith based populations.


meat goats, demographics, niche marketing


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