Heterogeneous preferences and consumer willingness to pay for vitamin D fortification of eggs

Francisco J. Areal, Daniele Asioli*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Food reformulation can contribute to achieve public health objectives by facilitating access to healthy and sustainable food choices to consumers. Vitamin D is an important micronutrient that contributes to calcium absorption and bone health. Low vitamin D levels may lead to having a higher risk of poor bone and muscle for human health. In this manuscript we investigated, for the first time, United Kingdom consumer willingness to pay (WTP), and heterogeneity preferences for vitamin D fortification of eggs. We used a choice experiment (CE) involving several hypothetical egg products (i.e., pack of 10 eggs) that vary across three attributes levels such as production method (i.e., Cage, Barn, Free‐range, and Organic), vitamin (i.e., no information or by reporting on the pack the claim “Vitamin D added”), and price (i.e., £0.80/pack, £1.90/pack, £3.00/pack, and £4.10/pack). Results suggest that, although on average consumers prefer low‐price eggs produced using the free‐range production method and the information about vitamin D fortification does not affect their valuation, there is a significant preference heterogeneity in consumer preferences associated with animal welfare, environment, health, and price attributes. Particularly, there is a significant preference heterogeneity towards the purchasing of eggs produced using the barn production method. Furthermore, we found that consumer preferences for vitamin D fortification of eggs is affected by consumer's age and the price of eggs. These findings provide useful insights into the psychology of consumer acceptance and attitudes that can be used in communicating the nature of the fortified vitamin D eggs to the public. They also have important implications for future labeling policies and marketing strategies of egg industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
Early online date9 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Feb 2024

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