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Exploring influences of different communication approaches on consumer target groups for ethically produced beef

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Risus, Antje (main author), Hamm, Ulrich (author), Department of Food and Agricultural Marketing, University of Kassel, Witzenhausen, Germany
Journal article
Publication Date:
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
animal rights, beef, communication methods, communication patterns, consumer attitudes, consumers, environment, ethical issues, food, influences, production techniques, organic food, food production, consumer behavior, consumer research, animal welfare, ethical food
16 pages., Via online journal, Communicating the process quality of ethically produced food effectively is of highest interest to policy makers, organizations, retailers and producers in order to enhance ethical food production and increase ethical label use. The objective of this paper is to unveil the effectiveness of different communication treatments in regard to changing purchase behavior of different consumer groups. Different communication material for beef produced according to consumer expectations was compiled and applied in a consumer survey—incorporating a choice experiment and a questionnaire—with 676 respondents in three cities of Germany. A Latent Class Mixed Logit Model was basis to identify different consumer segments and their response to the different communication treatments. The effects of different communication treatments unveil the importance to address information in an objective manner. Target groups could be enlarged through the assessment of clear, objective information. Moreover, most consumers were more likely to refrain from choosing a cheap beef product from conventional, barn-based rearing. Hence, consumers might be interested in reducing their overall consumption of beef and prefer the consumption of high value ethical beef with less frequency. Producers, market actors and policy makers should realize that a high share of consumers, not only smaller target groups, value ethical food and may be ready to change their consumption habits, if they are adequately informed.