Concerns About “Pink Slime” In Beef Impact Americans’ Behavior, Says Study Commissioned By Red Robin

Despite industry and government efforts to manage the controversy, concerns about so-called “pink slime” in the nation’s beef supply are influencing decisions about what they buy and eat, says a new poll from Red Robin restaurants, a leading casual-dining brand, recently conducted online by Harris Interactive among over 2,000 U.S adults age 18 and older.

After receiving hundreds of guest inquiries at Red Robin’s headquarters and in many of the company’s 460+ restaurants in North America, Red Robin, which has never served beef containing the ingredient, enlisted Harris Interactive, Inc. to conduct a poll on the “pink slime” issue.

In the study commissioned by Red Robin, 88% of U.S. adults are aware of the “pink slime” issue. Among those who were aware, when asked, “How concerned are you about the filler used in ground beef referred to in news stories as ‘pink slime’?,” 76% indicated that they were “at least somewhat concerned,” with 30% stating they were “extremely concerned.” Also, more than half (53%) of those saying they were aware of the issue took some action as a result, including researching the brands of ground beef they purchase at the grocery store and/or researching the ground beef used by restaurant brands where they eat (24%). 22% said they’ve either decreased and/or stopped altogether their consumption of foods using ground beef in restaurants, and 25% said they’ve either decreased and/or stopped altogether their purchases of ground beef from grocery stores.

“Red Robin has had to repeatedly assure our guests that we have never purchased or served beef containing the so-called ‘pink slime,'” said Steve Carley, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers chief executive officer. “While this kind of processed beef has been used for many years, the Harris Interactive poll shows that consumer fears are very real, and they’re not ready to let them just fade away. This underscores that our industry simply must do a better job of communicating the facts, educating consumers and regaining consumer trust in the quality of the food they buy. At Red Robin, we’ll continue to assure our guests that the quality of the food we buy and serve is a top priority.”

Red Robin’s ground beef patties are made from fresh, American-grown beef, with no added preservatives, fillers or artificial ingredients.

About Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (NASDAQ: RRGB)

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (, a casual dining restaurant chain founded in 1969 that operates through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Red Robin International, Inc., is the gourmet burger expert, famous for serving more than two dozen craveable, high-quality burgers with Bottomless Steak Fries® in a fun environment welcoming to guests of all ages. In addition to its many burger offerings, Red Robin serves a wide variety of salads, soups, appetizers, entrees, desserts and signature Mad Mixology® Beverages. There are more than 460 Red Robin® restaurants located across the United States and Canada, including corporate-owned locations and those operating under franchise agreements. Red Robin… YUMMM®! Connect with Red Robin on Facebook and Twitter.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States between March 29 – April 2, 2012 among 2,222 adults (aged 18 and over) by Harris Interactive on behalf of Red Robin via its Quick Query omnibus product. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

For complete survey results, please contact Nadine Brewer at 502-262-6134.