Welfare-friendly Products: availability, labeling and opinion of retailers in Curitiba, Southern Brazil,

Abstract: The market for welfare-friendly products (WFP) is increasing worldwide; however, there is a lack of information on this topic in Brazil. We investigated availability, product information and opinion of retailers about WFP in Curitiba, Southern Brazil. We visited 36 strategically located retailers, conducting product evaluation and interviews with managers. The availability of WFP, mostly eggs and chicken meat, was low; no other type of meat was available as WFP. Labeling was deficient, with little information about animal rearing systems. Labeling of regular products displaying images of happy animals was observed and may be a relevant confusing effect. Few certification seals for WFP were also observed, on organic products and free-range chickens. Welfare-friendly products costed 1.7 to 2.5 times more than regular products and great price variability was observed among retailers. Most retailers seemed not aware of the subject and considered that there is low availability of WFP to be offered in the markets. Low availability of WFP and poor label information of both regular and welfare-friendly products are barriers to better understand and meet the demand for higher welfare products. It is our perception that these are constraints for consumers to develop and perform ethical choices related to purchasing behavior.