Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 819–831 | Cite as

Which livestock production claims matter most to consumers?

  • Brenna EllisonEmail author
  • Kathleen Brooks
  • Taro Mieno


Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in how their food is produced. Many studies have focused on consumers’ preferences and willingness-to-pay for specific production-related claims (labels) on food products. However, few studies have asked consumers to rank the importance of different production claims. In this study, we use a best-worst scaling approach to have consumers rank the importance of seven common production claims used on food products. Rankings are obtained across four product types: beef, milk, chicken, and eggs. Results of the study show that consumers often prefer specific components of more encompassing claims (e.g., animals were not treated with growth hormones, no GMOs used in production) as opposed to the broader, more encompassing claim itself (such as product is certified organic). The majority of preference shares were captured by the top three claims, though the order of these preferences appears to vary for meat and non-meat animals.


Livestock production claims Best-worst scaling Consumer preference Labeling 



This research was supported by USDA NIFA #ILLU-470-356 and funding from the American Jersey Cattle Association/National All-Jersey, Inc.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agricultural and Consumer EconomicsUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural EconomicsUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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