Assessing Informational Impacts on Consumer Willingness to Pay for Eggs from Animal Welfare Enhanced Production Systems using Discrete Choice Experiment

Chen, Chen
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University of Guelph

This study investigated whether consumer preferences for eggs from enhanced animal welfare production systems are heterogeneous, and whether consumers’ responses to information would depend on consumers’ purchase experiences and initial perceptions. Using choice experiment data and the conditional logit model, results showed that consumers’ WTP for eggs from alternative housing systems reflects consumer heterogeneity. In comparison with inexperienced consumers, experienced consumers were willing to pay more for cage-free systems. In addition, information impacts depended on consumers’ purchase experiences and perceptions of animal welfare. Inexperienced consumers were more responsive to information about housing systems. When confronted with information, inexperienced consumers with higher animal welfare concern tend to increase their valuation for eggs from enriched cage and free-range system, but decrease their valuation for eggs from free-run system. Experienced consumers, however, tend to hold the same preferences with or without the presence of information.

Eggs, Enhanced animal welfare production systems, Consumers, Cage-free, Free-range