Factors Affecting Consumers Preferences for Specialty Eggs in Canada
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The past decade has seen a significant increase in the consumer demand for specialty eggs in Canada. This egg consumption trend has reflected the fact that current egg consumers are not only content about eggs as a staple, but also demand egg products with enhanced attributes, such as nutrition, health, animal welfare and food safety. A large body of literature has reported that consumers are willing to pay a premium for specialty eggs that embody value-added qualities. Thus, marketing information about heterogeneity in consumer preferences and characteristics when purchasing eggs is needed for developing effective marketing plans and serving consumers’ needs. In order to address this issue, a choice experiment approach is adopted to elicit respondents’ preferences toward various characteristics of eggs and egg purchasing behaviours through an online survey of 647 egg consumers in Canada. Egg consumers were asked to make choices from three alternative egg products, or none, on the basis of five attributes including price, shell colour, production method, feed, and pasteurization. Additionally, to test an alternative production method (verified free run), I developed two versions of choice responses: one with verified free run, one with only free run. Results show that Canadian consumers’ willingness to pay for different types of egg attributes varies significantly, shell colour is found to be related to consumers’ preferences for some credence attributes (including free run, organic and pasteurization). Compared to white regular eggs, respondents are willing to pay the most for white free run eggs (premium is $1.18 per dozen), followed by omega-3 enhanced eggs (premium is $ .57 per dozen), brown organic eggs (premium is $.52 per dozen) and brown free run eggs (premium is $ .57 per dozen), and are indifferent towards verified free run eggs, vitamin-enhanced eggs and white pasteurized eggs. In addition, consumers generally require a discount of $ .70 per dozen to purchase brown pasteurized eggs relative to white regular eggs. Furthermore, results from the extended multinomial (MNL) model and the mixed logit (ML) model confirm the existence of preference heterogeneity for egg attributes amongst Canadian consumers. Results from this study will not only help egg producers, retailers and other stakeholders to develop targeted marketing plans to expand choices within egg markets, but will also benefit egg consumers with different requirements for egg quality and egg attributes.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentBioresource Policy, Business and Economics
SupervisorHesseln, Hayley; Zhang, Jing
CommitteeHobbs, Jill E.; Belcher, Kenneth W.
Copyright DateJanuary 2013