Do Vietnamese Consumers Really Care About Hen's Welfare?

May 27, 2024

Improving farm animal welfare, particularly for laying hens, is increasingly important in Western countries, but what about Vietnam? A study by HealthyFarm surveyed 323 consumers across Hanoi, Danang, and Ho Chi Minh City, revealing a low knowledge level about hen welfare but strong positive attitudes, with 75% concerned about hen treatment. Consumers desire transparency through clear labeling, with 60% willing to pay a premium for eggs from humane farms. Environmental concerns also influence purchasing decisions, aligning with humane treatment. The willingness to pay more for ethically raised eggs, especially among younger, urban, and affluent groups, highlights the potential for a movement toward improved hen welfare in Vietnam. The study suggests that public awareness campaigns, robust regulations, and transparent labeling could increase demand for humane eggs, aligning with consumer values and fostering higher-quality, sustainable food systems.

Improving farm animal welfare, especially for laying hens, has become a major public concern in many Western countries. But what about in Vietnam and Southeast Asia? A research study by HealthyFarm sheds light on Vietnamese consumers' attitudes, knowledge, and willingness to pay more for eggs from hens raised in humane conditions.

The survey of 323 consumers across Hanoi, Danang, and Ho Chi Minh City reveals some eye-opening findings:

Vietnamese Lack Knowledge, But Have Positive Attitudes

The results show Vietnamese consumers have relatively low knowledge about hen welfare, scoring just 3.06 out of 14 on a knowledge assessment. However, 75% of respondents demonstrated a strong positive attitude, saying they are concerned about how hens are treated.

"This suggests Vietnamese consumers' support for hen welfare is more driven by moral instincts than factual understanding at this point," explains lead researcher Dr. Kasia Weina, Co-founder of HealthyFarm. "Raising awareness through education campaigns could further increase concern."

Consumer attitudes towards animal welfare in Vietnam (Source: HealthyFarm Consumer Study)

Consumers Want Transparency Through Clear Labeling

When asked about factors influencing their egg purchasing decisions, the top desired attribute was clear labeling that hens are treated humanely. 60% of respondents said they would pay a premium averaging 8,800 VND (37 cents USD) for eggs certified as coming from humane farms.

"Vietnamese consumers are clearly seeking more transparency around production practices," says Weina. "Having trusted certifications and honest on-package labeling would allow consumers to make more informed choices."

Willingness to pay for different egg attributes in VND (Source: HealthyFarm Consumer Study)

Growing Environmental Awareness Aligns With Welfare

The survey found two-thirds of respondents are worried about the environmental impacts of different egg production systems. This aligns with growing public consciousness around sustainability and the ecological impacts of industrial farming practices.

"Improving hen welfare sits alongside reducing environmental damage as key concerns for Vietnamese consumers," notes Weina. "Promoting the environmental benefits of humane farming can make these products even more appealing."

A Willingness to Pay More - For the Right Benefits

While the price was listed as the top overall purchasing factor, most respondents across all demographics said they would pay more for eggs delivering key benefits like:

This shows Vietnamese consumers - especially younger, urban, and more affluent groups - are willing to pay a premium for food they perceive as healthier, safer, and more ethical.

Factors affecting the purchasing decision (Source: HealthyFarm Consumer Study)

The Path Forward - Education, Regulation and Labeling

In conclusion, the answer is a resounding yes: Vietnamese consumers do care about hen welfare. While their knowledge about specific welfare issues might be limited, the study reveals a strong underlying concern. Their positive attitudes, desire for transparent labeling, and willingness to pay more for ethically raised eggs all point toward a growing movement for improved hen welfare in Vietnam.

Ultimately, closing the knowledge gap through public awareness campaigns, along with implementing robust welfare regulations and transparent labeling schemes, can unlock a stronger demand for humane eggs in Vietnam.

"Our study demonstrates Vietnamese consumers have receptive attitudes and a stated willingness to pay more for hen welfare," says Weina. "Now policymakers and industry must take action to give consumers credible, certified choices that align with their values."

As conscious consumption trends grow in Vietnam, the time is ripe to elevate the welfare of farm animals in the nation's agriculture sector. With strategic stakeholder initiatives, humane practices can become an integral part of meeting public demand for higher-quality, healthier, and more sustainable food systems.

Read full research here!