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A Structural Equation Model of the Factors Influencing British Consumers’ Behaviour toward Animal Welfare

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Carmen Hubbard


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Results of national and pan-European consumer surveys and the growth in the demand for so-called “animal friendly” food products suggest that consumers within the European Union (EU) show a high level of concern for the welfare of farm animals. This paper analyses the determinants of British consumers’ behaviour towards animal welfare using structural equation models (SEM) with observed and latent variables. SEM is a statistical technique for testing and estimating relationships amongst variables, using a combination of statistical data and qualitative causal assumptions. A data set collected in 2005 through face-to-face interviews of 654 consumers in England is employed. Based on a review of the existing literature on consumers’ behaviour towards animal welfare the paper tests and estimates a number of a priori determinants of behaviour, i.e., factors influencing stated purchases of free-range and organic chicken meat. The models have an adequate overall fit to the data. The statistical tests for the model on free-range chicken meat purchasing behaviour show socio-economic group, education, attitudes towards animal welfare, reasons for buying chicken meat, access to information on animal welfare issues, number of children and price as significant determinants. With one exception (i.e., reasons for buying chicken meat) all the aforementioned determinants were also found significant in the model on organic chicken meat purchasing behaviour.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Toma L, McVittie A, Hubbard C, Stott AW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Food Products Marketing

Year: 2011

Volume: 17

Issue: 2

Pages: 261-278

Print publication date: 01/01/2011

ISSN (print): 1045-4446

ISSN (electronic): 1540-4102

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/10454446.2011.54874

Notes: Special issue: Recent Trends in the Food Industry and Food Chain


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