Egg Industry - June 2018 - 14
14 ❙ EggIndustry
However, when only cage-free eggs were available, 17 percent said they wouldn't purchase eggs.
In the control group's questions about beliefs, the survey
found there is a consumer perception that cage free is better
in terms of animal welfare. Organic scored higher in cost,
healthiness and safety than any other egg type. The HSUS
graphic had the most impact on the surveyed audience.
Broiler chicken study
The survey method used was similar to the one used
with the egg study - an online survey of more than 2,000
U.S. chicken meat consumers. Individuals surveyed were
asked qualifying questions related to chicken consumption
and general beliefs. Like the egg study, there was a control group; the other groups were given either pro-slowgrowth articles from NPR or the New York Times, or an
anti-slow-growth infographic from the National Chicken
Council (NCC). The broiler study also looked at the effect
of brands on consumer decisions.
AS PRICE RISES, WILLINGNESS
to spend money goes down.
Consumers were given two options of breast meat with
various label claims and were asked to choose their preference. The consensus was that chicken tastes good, is affordable
and is easy to cook while still being healthy. Individuals were
asked if over the past five years their chicken consumption has
increased or decreased. Forty-eight-and-a-half percent said
their consumption has stayed the same, while 47.4 percent said
it has increased due to more chicken options and 4.1 percent
said it decreased due to other protein-rich food options.
The study results show that almost 28 percent of survey
respondents from the control group were unwilling to pay
any premium for slow growth. While others said they would
pay more, the amount varied; however, none were willing
to pay more than a dollar, Fikes explained. For those that
received anti-slow-growth information in the broiler test,
almost 100 percent of the people surveyed said they would
How willingness to pay for
slow-growth chicken meat is impacted
by information provided
Percent of respondents
WILL CONSUMERS PAY?
$0.40 to $1.00
Greater than $1.00
Less than $0.40
Source: Consumer Beliefs, Knowledge, and Willingness-to-Pay for Sustainability-Related
Poultry Production Practices Broiler Survey Report
Viewing the NCC graphic, which shows the
increased environmental impact of slow-growing
broilers, resulted in no consumers expressing
willingness to spend more than $0.40 per pound
for breast meat from slow-growth birds.
pay no more than 40 cents per pound more for slow growth.
Forty-five percent of people given pro-slow-growth information said they would pay more than a dollar more a pound.
"The public is ignorant in terms of broiler production,"
Fikes said. Fewer than 3 percent of the public correctly answered the question: What percent of meat-producing chickens
in the U.S. are cage free? About 12 percent correctly answered
the question about the number of birds fed growth hormones.
"What this shows is there is wide-open space for those
in the broiler industry to do some educating," he added.
Summary of the study
Price is a significant driver for most consumers. There is
room for the cage-free egg market to grow, but it may never
reach majority market share. The willingness to pay for slowgrowth chicken is highly dependent on the information provided to consumers, suggesting that consumers do not have
much knowledge or strong opinions for slow growth. The
study also shows that chicken with slow-growth labels could
garner a large market share even at $0.50 to $1.00 per-pound
price premiums. Much of this is explained not by strong preferences for slow growth chicken, but rather by a large segment of consumers who are insensitive to chicken prices. ■
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ June 2018