Pirsich, W., & Theuvsen, L. (2017). The Pet Food Industry: An Innovative Distribution Channel for Animal Welfare Meat? Proceedings in Food System Dynamics, 257-268.
This paper investigates the notion of launching an innovative pet food segment labelled “made from animal welfare meat” to achieve an added value for by-products that accrue in the production of animal welfare meat. Since the pet food market is characterized by a large premium segment and pet owners are generally believed to be interested in the welfare of animals, the idea seems promising at first sight, but there is a lack of reliable evidence. Therefore, the main objective of this investigation was to determine, based on existing data from previous studies, the particular interest of pet owners in the welfare of farm animals before further cost-intensive studies are developed and conducted. The results of a comparison of pet owners’ and non–pet own-ers’ attitudes to the issue of animal welfare in livestock farming revealed highly significant differences. Pet owners not only have a more critical attitude towards intensive livestock farming but are also very interested in animal welfare meat and show a significantly higher willingness-to-pay for animal-friendly meat products. On the basis of these findings, specific studies analysing the market potential and the feasibility of pet food made of animal welfare meat are highly recommended.