Valuable inertia resisting safety worries Consumers' attitudes and purchasing behaviour are often inconsistent, and the contradiction can benefit meat market suppliers. Mike Penford of Taylor Nelson Sofres, speaking at the Bord Bia forum in Dublin, provided evidence of shoppers continuing to buy beef despite believing it could be unsafe. The loss of confidence caused by BSE and other food safety scares was an easily measureable loss of confidence in the safety of beef. Surveys within the past three months showed more than a quarter of German shoppers were at least doubtful. About 15% of British household principal purchasers expressed a lack of confidence in beef. Yet the proportions of shoppers telling TNS they were still buying beef were bigger than those content with its safety. Penford noted a big gap in France, where only 79% of surveyed shoppers said they were confident, but the purchasing figure was 93%. Data from Britain indicated only 85% confident but 89% still purchasing. The data seem to demonstrate a valuable inertia in the marketplace, consumers buying out of habit or a sense of beef being essential. {{MEAT }}