Egg Industry - June 2018 - 12
12 ❙ EggIndustry
WILL CONSUMERS PAY?
US consumers' general beliefs about eggs
% strongly or somewhat disagree
% neither agree nor disagree
% strongly or somewhat agree
are easy to cook
All eggs taste
about the same
Source: Consumer Beliefs, Knowledge, and Willingness-to-Pay for Sustainability-Related Poultry Production Practices Broiler Survey Report
Over one-quarter of consumers surveyed strongly or somewhat disagreed with the statement that egg-laying
hens are well-treated.
while the other groups were given information from the
Coalition for a Sustainable Egg Supply (CSES) and the
Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
"We gave them 12 different scenarios where we gave
them option A with no label for 99 cents a dozen, or option
B that was organic, cage free, omega-3 enriched, all natural,
GMO free for $4.49," Fikes said. Then individuals were surveyed on their beliefs based off a five-point scale regarding
food safety, animal welfare, health and wellness and quality.
The results of the general consumption survey were that eggs
taste good, are easy to cook and are thought to be healthy.
"Only 38 percent of people agreed that laying hens
are well-treated," he said. This is where some of that
pressure on retailers comes from in terms of animal welfare values, Fikes added.
Most people say they buy eggs at least once a week, if
not numerous times a week. Most people surveyed said they
buy a dozen each time. The individuals were asked, "Over
the past five years, has your consumption of eggs increased
or decreased?" More than half, 53 percent, said they stayed
the same. Only 5.7 percent said they have decreased in
the number of eggs they were buying. GMO free was No.
1 when individuals were given the choice test. Organic and
omega-3 enhanced also ranked high. Cage free comes in
about fourth or fifth in the level of importance.
When looking at cage-free price breaks, just shy of 30
percent of the respondents said that the price break was up
to 20 cents. "Some outliers said that they would pay greater
than $3 for cage free," Fikes said. Organic ranked anywhere
from an extra 20 cents to $2. When asked about a change in
market share, a $1 reduction in price was favorable rather
than any of the added labels. An added non-GMO label was
the second highest in rankings. Cage-free labeling was fifth
in importance compared with other labels in the market.
When conventional and cage-free eggs are in the same
price range, about 60 percent said they would buy specialized products. But as price rises, willingness to spend
money goes down, Fikes explained.
"When you take away choices, the option for consumers to not buy eggs goes up," he said. When consumers were only given two choices, conventional eggs or
cage free, about 4 percent said they wouldn't buy eggs.
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ June 2018