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Market Opportunities for Animal-Friendly Milk in Different Consumer Segments

Sophie De Graaf (), Filiep Vanhonacker (), Ellen Van Loo (), Jo Bijttebier (), Ludwig Lauwers (), Frank A. M. Tuyttens () and Wim Verbeke ()
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Sophie De Graaf: Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Filiep Vanhonacker: Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Jo Bijttebier: Social Sciences Unit, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium
Ludwig Lauwers: Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Frank A. M. Tuyttens: Animal Sciences Unit, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), 9090 Melle-Gontrode, Belgium
Wim Verbeke: Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

Sustainability, 2016, vol. 8, issue 12, 1-17

Abstract: 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.

Keywords: animal welfare; consumers; dairy cattle; ethical consumption; market segmentation; milk; survey (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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