Different shades of grey: Compromise products to encourage animal friendly consumption

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Contemporary production and consumption are often characterised by negative externalities, for example regarding animal welfare. Despite consumer concerns about animal welfare standards in livestock production systems, the market share of organic meat is still low. The current paper investigates to what extent a more differentiated product assortment including ‘‘compromise alternatives’’, providing consumers with more options to trade-off animal welfare against other attributes, increases the choice share of meat produced at beyond-regulatory standards for animal welfare. Results from a choice experiment in The Netherlands reveal considerable heterogeneity in consumer preferences regarding the trade-off between animal welfare level and price level. Two out of six segments, typically consumers with a lower education level and shoppers at discount supermarkets, are not or hardly prepared to pay a price premium for welfare enhanced meat. Two other segments show a preference for small increases in animal welfare level and associated costs. The remaining two other segments seem to reflect ‘‘protestors’’ against mainstream meat production in that they hold negative attitudes, beliefs and feelings regarding the consumption of conventionally-produced meat, either by turning to meat produced at high animal welfare standards (including meat replacement products) or by reducing meat consumption. It is concluded that an assortment that better caters for this heterogeneity in consumer preference by including ‘‘compromise meat products’’ is of the benefit to both the individual consumer (preferences), the animal (animal welfare levels) and the meat sector (clientele)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-99
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Issue numberOctober 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • willingness-to-pay
  • broiler production systems
  • consumer perceptions
  • choice experiments
  • cheap talk
  • food
  • welfare
  • preferences
  • standards
  • attitudes


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