Many food manufacturers and retailers have made pledges to go "cage free." In fact, if all the pledges are maintained, about 75% of the entire egg laying flock will have to be converted to cage free by the year 2025, as the graph below suggests.
Is there sufficient consumer demand to support this level of commitment (particularly when one acknowledges that, according to USDA data, cage free eggs are currently selling at about a $1/dozen (or 68%) premium to conventional)?
I recently completed a study for the Food Marketing Institute, Animal Agriculture Alliance, and the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research on the market potential for cage free eggs to help provide some insights into these issues.
The study was conducted with more than 2,000 consumers. The core of the study involved people making a series of simulated retail shopping choices like the one below.
Answers to these questions allow us to infer consumer willingness-to-pay, market shares, and more. In fact, if you want to run your own market share simulations, I created this handy downloadable spreadsheet.
The main finding is the following:
Here are a couple key graphs: