Market opportunities for animal-friendly milk in different consumer segments

Sophie de Graaf*, Filiep Vanhonacker, Ellen J. Van Loo, Jo Bijttebier, Ludwig Lauwers, Frank A.M. Tuyttens, Wim Verbeke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Consumers have increasing, but highly variable, interest in sustainability attributes of food, including ethical aspects, such as animal welfare. We explored market opportunities for animal-friendly cow's milk based on segmentation (cluster) analysis. Flemish survey participants (n = 787) were clustered (n = 6) based on their intention to purchase (IP) animal-friendly milk, and their evaluation of cows' welfare state (EV). Three market opportunity segments were derived from clusters and labelled as "high", "moderate" and "limited". Only 8% of the participants belong to the "high market opportunities" segment, characterized by a high IP and a low EV. The "limited" segment (44%) indicated a neutral to low IP and a positive EV. The "moderate" segment (48%) had a moderately positive IP and positive/negative EV. Reported willingness to pay, interest in information about the state of animal welfare and importance of the product attribute "animal welfare" differed among segments and were strongly related to IP. Most promising selling propositions about animal-friendly milk were related to pasture access. The high degree of differentiation within the Flemish milk market reveals market opportunities for animal-friendly milk, but for an effective market share increase supply of animal-friendly products needs to get more aligned with the heterogeneous demand.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1302
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal welfare
  • Consumers
  • Dairy cattle
  • Ethical consumption
  • Market segmentation
  • Milk
  • Survey


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