Consumers willing to pay extra for organic meat, survey finds

Feb 17, 2012

Consumers, particularly those who occasionally or habitually buy organic chicken, are willing to pay a premium price for organic meat, according to a study conducted by personnel at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Center for Food Safety. The extent of their willingness to pay the premium, however, depends on the type of organic label.

The published results of the study were among the 15 most downloaded at the SciVerse ScienceDirect.com website. The results were published in the journal Food Quality and Preference in an article by lead author Ellen Van Loo, a former UA food science graduate student who is now a doctoral researcher in the food consumer science unit at the department of agricultural economics at Ghent University in Belgium. The co-authors are Jean-Francois Meullenet, head of the University of Arkansas department of food science; Steven C. Ricke, director of the Center for ; Rodolfo Nayga, UA professor of agricultural economics and agribusiness; and Vincenzina Caputo of Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Italy.

"Considering that consumers think of high price premiums as the strongest limiting factor when purchasing organic meat, it is then important to know consumers' to for these products," Van Loo said. "Willingness-to-pay estimates can also provide insights on how consumers value the organic attribute in meat products and can be used as input in analyzing the marketability of the products."

Surveys of consumers asked them to make choices in hypothetical situations regarding purchases of chicken. The surveys found that consumers would be willing to spend a 35 percent premium for a general organic labeled chicken breast and would pay a 104 percent premium for a USDA-certified organic labeled chicken breast. (To receive the USDA organic certification, a product must meet the agency's organic requirements for production, handling and processing and accredited agents must have certified the farm and the handling and processing companies.)

When broken down further, the survey results showed that who do not generally buy organic products would be unwilling to pay a premium, occasional buyers of organic products would pay a 35.7 percent premium for a general organic labeled chicken breast and a 97.3 percent premium for USDA-certified chicken breast, and habitual buyers of organic products would pay a 146 percent premium for a general organic labeled chicken breast and 244.3 percent premium for USDA-certified chicken breast.

Van Loo noted that more research is needed that would include real market data reporting actual consumer purchases.

Explore further: Less privileged kids shine at university, according to study

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Consumers willing to pay more for locally grown apples

Sep 20, 2010

A 2008 study found that organic apples represented 4.6% of total apple sales in the United States, up from 3.5% in 2007. In Vermont, apples have been the most important fruit crop for many years, playing an important role ...

Organic food label imparts 'health halo,' study finds

Apr 27, 2011

Don't judge food by its organic label because "organic" doesn't necessarily mean good it's for you. Yet a new study by Jenny Wan-Chen Lee, a graduate student in Cornell's Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, ...

One bad apple: Consumers prefer perfect produce

Dec 03, 2007

A research study published in the October 2007 issue of HortScience found that consumers don't like blemishes—on apples, that is. The study of consumer values led by Chengyan Yue, PhD, Assistant Professor of Hor ...

Recommended for you

Why are UK teenagers skipping school?

Dec 18, 2014

Analysis of the results of a large-scale survey reveals the extent of truancy in English secondary schools and sheds light on the mental health of the country's teens.

Fewer lectures, more group work

Dec 18, 2014

Professor Cees van der Vleuten from Maastricht University is a Visiting Professor at Wits University who believes that learning should be student centred.

How to teach all students to think critically

Dec 18, 2014

All first year students at the University of Technology Sydney could soon be required to take a compulsory maths course in an attempt to give them some numerical thinking skills. ...

User comments : 6

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2012
Consumers willing to pay extra for organic meat, survey finds

You know - I'd be willing to pay extra for INorganic meat. Just for the novelty experience.
33Nick
not rated yet Feb 18, 2012
On our last trip to India, a young Indian man was making fun of the West saying we were the only people on Earth who would pay extra for naturally fed and grown food and pay less for chemically, hormone, and genetically manipulated food. He thought it was as crazy as crazy gets. And he is right. Food used to taste good decades ago, now without copious amounts of sauce, hamburgers would taste like cardboard :)
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Feb 18, 2012
Willing to pay IF they can pay.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Feb 18, 2012
Indian man was making fun of the West

In the west we don't let cattle wander crapping and urinating anywhere while millions of 'unclean' smoke out rats in rice fields to survive.

As India rises, its rat catchers toil in darkness

Read more: http://www.foxnew...mlpnuISC

What is the organically approved rat poison?

"The rat may be the Irula's only source of meat and grains (collected from the rodents' burrows). "
At least it's organic.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Feb 18, 2012
That's great some are willing to pay more for organic meat. That means the demand for inorganic meat will drop and so will the prices.
Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (2) Feb 20, 2012
Libertarian/Randite's desire to see the profits of farmers decline reminds me of the Libertarian argument promoting free trade and how it was good that American jobs be shipped overseas because Americans would benefit from purchasing cheaper products that they no longer made in America.

Republican politicians listened to the Libertarians and Randites and arranged for American Corporations to fire American workers and move the jobs to low wage nations.

Some dare call it treason.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.