Can Marketing Increase Willingness to Pay for Welfare-Enhanced Chicken Meat? Evidence from Experimental Auctions

Lenka van Riemsdijk*, Paul Ingenbleek, Hans van Trijp, Gerrita van der Veen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Consumer concern for animal welfare is currently not fully reflected in the market share of animal-friendly products. Marketing strategies for animal-friendly products typically emphasize sustainability-related benefits, such as animal welfare, while existing research suggests that consumers prioritize personally relevant benefits, such as taste and curiosity. This study tests the effectiveness of positioning strategies emphasizing personally relevant benefits, namely curiosity, in a real-life experiment at the point of purchase, also measuring the effects of certified labels and the impact of consumer attitudes towards eating meat. It conducts experimental auctions with 101 Dutch university students and measures their willingness to pay (WTP) for a lunch meal with chicken meat. Results indicate that both the positioning strategy and the certified label significantly increase consumer WTP, with the highest WTP generated when both elements are present (without providing evidence for an interaction effect). This implies that to maximize sales of welfare-enhanced meat companies should combine positioning strategies that emphasize personally relevant benefits with certified labels that can support the claimed animal friendliness. Since our results also suggest that consumers with conflicting feelings towards meat are less sensitive to such strategies, some care should be taken when designing awareness campaigns about the negative effects of meat consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3367
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2023


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