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Consumer decision-making for animal-friendly products: synthesis and implications

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2023

PTM Ingenbleek
Marketing and Consumer Behavior Group, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands
VM Immink*
Agricultural Economics Research Institute, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands
* Contact for correspondence and requests for reprints:


Understanding how consumers’ concerns affect the consumer decision-making process is important for developing a market for animal-friendly products. This paper presents a synthesis of research on the role of animal welfare in consumer decision-making. Drawing on basic models and concepts from consumer behaviour literature, we present the findings along the lines of five phases of the consumer decision-making process: (i) need recognition; (ii) information search; (iii) information evaluation; (iv) purchase decision; and (v) post-purchase evaluation. Consumer decision-making about animal-based food products is routine, situational and sometimes irrational, instead of based on complete information. Consumers associate animal welfare with a higher quality perception and labels and high prices further increase the perception of quality. The findings have implications for stakeholders that aim to develop a market for animal-friendly products, like (coalitions of) governments, animal interest groups, retailers and brand manufacturers.

Research Article
© 2011 Universities Federation for Animal Welfare

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