Strategies for positioning animal welfare as personally relevant

Authors Lenka van Riemsdijk, Paul T. M. Ingenbleek, Marleen Houthuis, Hans C. M. van Trijp
Published in British Food Journal
Publication date 2017
Type Article


Purpose: Next to organic food products, an assortment of ethical products is emerging in the supermarket that targets the large market segment of consumers that are open for ethical product choices but do not restrict themselves to them. The purpose of this paper is to examine the positioning strategies that marketers use to persuade consumers in this segment to buy animal-friendly products (AFPs). Design/methodology/approach: The authors approach product positioning from a consumption values perspective from which they examine strategies that make animal welfare (AW) personally relevant to the buyer because they reinforce AW with suitable consumption value (functional, emotional, social, sensory, epistemic and/or ethical). Using data from 129 AFPs from a Dutch supermarket, the authors explore the positioning strategies of these products. Findings: The results identified four different strategies used to position AFPs in a Dutch supermarket. They respectively call upon consumers’ emotions, functional or sensory perceptions, curiosity and sense of public welfare. The findings also show substantial category differences, with fresh products relying predominantly on emotional value and processed food on functional value. Originality/value: This study is the first to empirically explore positioning strategies of AFPs on the basis of their consumption values. The study offers a novel perspective to understand how companies try to extend the market for AFPs, thus providing a basis for a new research agenda.

On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in British Food Journal
Year and volume 119 9
Key words marketing, consumers, positioning strategies, animal welfare
Page range 2062-2075

Lenka van Riemsdijk

Lenka van Riemsdijk

Lenka van Riemsdijk

  • Researcher
  • Research group: Marketing & Customer Experience