Are They Buying It? United States Consumers' Changing Attitudes toward More Humanely Raised Meat, Eggs, and Dairy

Animals (Basel). 2018 Jul 25;8(8):128. doi: 10.3390/ani8080128.


This survey research sampled 1000 US (United States) consumers of meat, eggs, and dairy on their attitudes towards the welfare of farm animals and the willingness to pay for products with trustworthy welfare certifications. Most respondents (70%) reported paying attention to labels that indicate how the animals were raised and 78% believed there should be an objective third party to ensure farm animal welfare. The weighted average of the marginal willingness to pay for products raised under a trustworthy welfare certification was $0.79 for eggs (a 32% premium) and $0.96 for 1 lb. of chicken breast (a 48% premium). In addition, 57% of respondents reported they would be likely to choose a restaurant because it serves welfare-certified animal products and are also willing to pay ≥$5.00 extra per entrée. These findings suggest that many US consumers, particularly millennials, would be willing to seek out higher welfare products if they trust the label claims.

Keywords: beef; chicken; consumer confusion; dairy; eggs; farm animal welfare; food labels; humane meat; welfare certification; willingness to pay.