Which livestock production claims matter most to consumers?


Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in how their food is produced. Many studies have focused on consumers’ preferences and willingness-to-pay for specific production-related claims (labels) on food products. However, few studies have asked consumers to rank the importance of different production claims. In this study, we use a best-worst scaling approach to have consumers rank the importance of seven common production claims used on food products. Rankings are obtained across four product types: beef, milk, chicken, and eggs. Results of the study show that consumers often prefer specific components of more encompassing claims (e.g., animals were not treated with growth hormones, no GMOs used in production) as opposed to the broader, more encompassing claim itself (such as product is certified organic). The majority of preference shares were captured by the top three claims, though the order of these preferences appears to vary for meat and non-meat animals.

In Agriculture and Human Value, 2017.