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If It’s Not Ethical and Credible, Consumers Don’t Want It, New Study Finds

awa-purchaseConcerns about food safety, the environment and farm animal welfare are prompting increasing numbers of consumers to seek out ethically produced food, including meat, dairy and eggs from humanely raised animals, even if it means paying more. A new survey from San Francisco-based Context Marketing shows that almost 70 percent of American food shoppers are willing to pay more for food that is safe, humane and environmentally sound.

Education, consumer advocacy and lifting the veil from the practices of industrialized agriculture are transforming shopping habits. Despite industry efforts, concern for farm animal welfare is gaining significant strength. The study finds that the importance of animals being humanely raised is exceeded only by food safety concerns, and animal welfare scores well above “natural” and “organically produced.” Consumers who have grown up more aware of how food is produced are intensifying the demand for meat, dairy and eggs from humanely raised animals: Forty-four percent of shoppers aged 20 to 34 always look for cage-free eggs.

Americans are also turning to labels like Animal Welfare Approved to help them make purchasing decisions; the report finds that ethical claims help consumers identify high quality, safe and humane foods. When credible and relevant, ethical claims also help consumers form deeper emotional connections with brands. Overall, 58 percent of shoppers are more willing to take the time to learn about ethically produced food brands while 44 percent stopped buying a product when the company producing it acted in an unethical way. Forty-two percent are more loyal to more ethically produced food brands.

The report only tells us what we have seen on the ground for a long time— more and more people care about what they eat and they aren’t willing to compromise. AWA believes that informed consumers are our best allies and we are committed to remaining a label that consumers can trust. Check our database to find meat, dairy and eggs that live up your expectations of being good for animals, people and the planet.

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