In the first part of the paper, the Total Food Quality Model is used as a frame of reference for analysing the way in which consumers perceive meat quality, drawing mainly on European studies involving beef and pork. The way in which consumers form expectations about quality at the point of purchase, based on own experience and informational cues available in the shopping environment, is described, as well as the way in which quality is experienced in the home during and after meal preparation. The relationship between quality expectations and quality experience and its implications for consumer satisfaction and repeat purchase intent is addressed. In the second part of the paper, and building on the insights obtained on subjective quality perception, possibilities for consumer-oriented product development in the meat sector are addressed. Issues dealt with here are branding, differentiation by taste, healthiness and convenience, and by process characteristics like organic production and animal welfare.