Observational and questionnaire-based studies on the role of product information for a newly developed welfare friendly food product

René A. de Wijk, Jozina M. Mojet, Rob van Veggel and René Koster

Center for Innovative Consumer Studies / Restaurant of the Future
P.O. Box 17, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands

 

A possible marketing strategy based on product information was tested to increase sales of animal welfare friendly products. A new welfare friendly chicken product was developed that can be offered at a similar price as a regular chicken product by replacing part of the expensive animal welfare friendly meat by mushrooms, a less expensive ingredient, Additional health benefits of the new product are reduced fat and calories and increased fibre content. A study in the “Restaurant of the Future” in Wageningen, The Netherlands, where consumer behaviour is observed with video cameras, showed gender effects on food choice behaviour. Female consumers spend more time than male consumers reading the product information, and selected the welfare friendly product more often. Women also expected the animal welfare friendly product to have superior taste and texture compared to a regular product. Interestingly, taste and texture had not been identified as important factors when questionnaires were used, which demonstrates the limited predictive value with regard to consumer attitudes.