PoultryUSA - August 2018 - 43
Information influences opinions
tions, but when it comes time to actually spend money
at the grocery store, they opt for the product with the
Of those presented with no information, a little more
than 70 percent said they would be willing to pay a premium of 40 cents to $1 per pound for a product from slowergrowing broilers, while roughly 30 percent said they would
Consumer knowledge of broiler production
not be willing to pay a premium that exceeded 39 cents.
Lusk spoke of a lack of knowledge of slowerNone stated they would pay more than $1 premium.
growing broilers, but the survey also showed a lack of
Those presented with information favoring slowunderstanding of the poultry industry as a whole.
growth chicken said they would be willing to pay exNo broiler chickens are raised in cages in the United
tra. About 55 percent said they would pay a premium
States, but only 2.5 percent of respondents knew that
ranging from 40 cents to $1, and 45 percent said they
was true. Also, only 11 percent of respondents knew that
would be willing to pay a premium of
broiler chickens were not given added
more than $1.
Those shown the NCC information
"People's beliefs are very far out of
had a common response. None of those
line with the reality of broiler producsurveyed said they would be willing to
tion," Lusk said.
pay a premium of 40 cents or more.
"What does this tell me? It tells me
Retailers and the push to
people don't really have any idea what
switch to slow-growth chicken
this label means. So I can push them
The biggest advocates for the switch
this way, or I can push them that way,"
away from conventional broiler breeds
Lusk said. "They don't know much
and toward slower-growing breeds are the
about it. It's something they haven't
animal rights groups, which Lusk says
thought much about."
have actively met with retailers in an efThe survey also demonstrated limfort to get them to make that change.
ited interest in slower-growing broilers
To date, the majority of those agreeas only about 16 percent of the responing to switch are foodservice companies
dents believed chicken breasts are curDr. Jayson Lusk said
and restaurant chains - some with a
rently too large.
very small volume of chicken sales. But
Lusk said the survey revealed to him decisions depend heavily
Whole Foods Market is the only grothat, at the baseline, most people don't
on the information they
cery chain to pledge to switch.
necessarily see the benefits of paying
consume. Roy Graber
While the other grocery chains hold
more for slow-growth chicken.
out, Lusk hopes they can see the results
"It would actually take some pushing," Lusk said.
of the study so they can make an informed decision on
"Somebody wanting to market this would actually
consumer attitudes about the issue, rather than agree
have to make a case for why people would want it."
to a pledge due to pressure from groups with a specific
He added that often, while people are taking part
agenda that doesn't necessarily reflect consumer desires.
in surveys, they will say they have a willingness to pay
"At least there's some data now that they can use to get
more for a poultry product raised under certain condia sense on what the market may look like," said Lusk. ■
Read more: The real costs of antibiotic-free, slow-growing broilers,
August 2018 ❙ www.WATTAgNet.com