Heterogeneity in consumer perceptions of the animal friendliness of broiler production systems

J. de Jonge, J.C.M. van Trijp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Animal welfare-based product differentiation through private sector initiatives has led to the introduction of ‘compromise’ meat products, which are produced at beyond regulatory standards for animal welfare, but are cheaper than organic meat. A variety of production system characteristics serve as parameters to achieve higher animal welfare standards. Food policies will be more effective if they position compromise products on those production system characteristics that really matter to (segments of) consumers. The present study identifies that three market segments may be discerned; one that takes a more inclusive perspective on animal welfare, and two that take a more heuristic approach by viewing animal friendliness from a more uni-dimensional perspective (animal space vs. slaughter method). These segments do not only differ in their perception of animal welfare, but also regarding their background characteristics. An interesting finding of the research is that the different segments accord in their perceptions of overall animal welfare levels, but do so for different reasons. In terms of food policy implications this means that the further development of compromise products would benefit from communicating more specific information on animal space and slaughter method, in addition to the overall star-based animal welfare classification. Such communication would serve well to both 50% of the market that takes a more balanced and integrated view on animal welfare and the other half of the market that takes a more uni-dimensional perspective (space vs. slaughter method).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-185
JournalFood Policy
Issue numberPt. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • welfare
  • preferences
  • meat
  • standards
  • stakeholder
  • interests
  • attitudes
  • chickens
  • values
  • food

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