Consumer Preference for Eggs from Enhanced Animal Welfare Production System: A Stated Choice Analysis

Lu, Yiqing
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University of Guelph

This research examines consumer preference for eggs from enhanced animal welfare production systems, and whether consumer preference is affected by the provision of information about the consequences of the housing system on aspects of hen health and behaviour. The first choice experiment investigated consumer preferences for different housing systems, while the second investigated consumer preferences for attributes of a housing system. Each choice experiment had two information treatments. In both treatments, a description of each housing system was provided, while in the second treatment, there was additional information regarding the consequences (in terms of effect on birds) of each housing systems based on scientific research. The results indicate that Canadian consumers are willing to pay a premium for eggs from free run and free range systems, and verification for the housing systems, but not for eggs from enriched cage systems. There are also positive marginal WTPs for cage-free, outdoor access, access to nests box, perches, scratching pads and more space. In both choice experiment, the WTP for cage-free attributes or housing systems with cage-free attributes (i.e., free run and free range systems) are lower in treatment 2 (with additional information) than treatment 1.

consumer preference, eggs, animal welfare production system