Aussies just want ‘fair dinkum’ free range

The majority of consumers are not interested in the niche variety of free range eggs being pushed for by Choice and animal activist groups which would cost $8-$10 per dozen, NSW Farmers said today.

The statement follows the release of further research by NSW Farmers today on consumer expectations of free range eggs.

The research, conducted by Quantum Market Research, also debunked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s definition of free range by clarifying that consumers’ expectations of free range were very simple - they wanted hens to be unconfined and have access to the outdoors.

NSW Farmers CEO Matt Brand said: “One of the more telling insights from our research was that the vast majority of consumers aren’t interested in a niche product when they buy free range and many switch between different production systems because they are so sensitive to price.”

“For example of those who say they mostly buy supermarket free range, almost half (47%) have bought cage, or cage-free in the past six months and a quarter (25%) of those who buy free-range at least sometimes, actually buy cage, cage free or barn laid most often.

“Even the most concerned free range consumers indicated they were willing to make a trade-off. Two in five (41%) consumers who ‘always’ think about animal welfare have purchased other varieties other than free range in the past six months.

“The free range market is flexible and people want an affordable free range option – that’s what our research tells us.

“There are many segments in the free range market at the moment and it caters well for all shoppers including those who buy free range all the time and those who only buy organic.
“Our farmers are committed to the welfare of their hens and delivering to a wide variety of market segments to meet consumers’ expectations.

“These small producers should have a place in the market – everyone should have a place in the market.

“But most consumers want affordable, fair dinkum free range. They don’t want their eggs placed in a small niche that demands a justifiably high premium price,” Mr Brand concluded.

ends

21 October 2015

Contact: John Dunn

Phone: 02 9478 1035

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