Consumers' willingness to pay for an animal welfare food label
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Consumers increasingly rate the ethical dimensions of food production, including animal welfare, as important to them but how these concerns influence their food choices remains unclear. To address this, a Discrete Choice Experiment assesses consumers' willingness to pay for chicken meat. The study aims to understand the effects of food labels (RSPCA Assured and Red Tractor), cause-related marketing campaigns, and price on consumers' willingness to pay. Drawing on a representative sample of 401 British consumers, we estimate a mixed logit model using the hierarchical Bayesian estimation method. The results for the full sample reveal a substantial price premium associated with the animal welfare label (RSPCA Assured); however, this is less pronounced than one of the cause-related marketing campaigns. A latent class analysis identifies two distinct market segments, price sensitive and concerned consumers, which differ on socio-economic and behavioural characteristics. Amongst price sensitive consumers, willingness to pay extra for an animal welfare label is negligible. Complementary, qualitative interviews reveal consumers' difficulties in comparing the varying standards that underpin quality assurance schemes.
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