Relevance of animal welfare for poultry meat consumers – results of multinational focus groups

Cathleen Lehmann, Inken Christoph-Schulz


Farm animal husbandry is increasingly criticized by consumers within Europe. A fundamental increase in welfare standards for German poultry meat would entail higher production costs that have to be covered. Since Germany exports a high proportion of produced poultry meat, the question arises whether consumers from key export countries are interested in purchasing poultry meat produced under improved husbandry conditions. Therefore, this paper gives insights into consumer attitudes and perceptions regarding animal welfare poultry meat in the study countries Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Data was obtained by conducting focus group discussions. The objective was to find out what relevance farm animal welfare has for consumers’ poultry meat purchase decisions in the countries under consideration. Animal welfare is mainly stated to be an important product attribute, although it obtains less importance than other product attributes such as quality and price. Consumers claimed that farm animals should have a “good life” and that they should have the possibility to follow their natural behaviour while growing up. Although a large number of participants stated to be willing to pay a higher price for poultry meat which is produced under improved husbandry conditions, the price has still proven to be a strong limiting factor for purchase decisions in all study countries. The main motivating factors for buying animal welfare poultry meat is the perception of a better quality as well as ethical concerns. In order to achieve more transparency for their purchase decision, consumers would like to receive more information on poultry living conditions and the requirements of animal welfare labels.

Full Text:



ISSN 2194-511X


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License