Grain-free, all-natural, no-GMOs; these claims and others have dominated the pet food industry in recent years as customers continue to buy pet foods that reflect their own dietary sensibilities and beliefs. However, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Göttingen in Germany, claims about the welfare of ingredient sources may be more effective at convincing customers to purchase.
The study, published in Proceedings in System Dynamics and Innovation in Food Networks, suggests that claims about animal welfare issues on pet food packaging may persuade pet owners to purchase that product. Not only were customers more inclined to purchase food packaged with welfare-oriented labels, they were willing to pay more for it too. When asked whether they were willing to pay 10% more for food from welfare-compliant sources, 57% of pet owners said they would pay more compared to only 44% of non-pet owners.
While the results of the study suggest that pet owners are more likely to purchase welfare-compliant pet food and are willing to do so at a higher cost, researchers have indicated that additional research may be needed to understand how this behavior interacts with other purchasing behaviors.