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Open AccessReview

Applying the Behavioural Change Wheel to Encourage Higher Welfare Food Choices

1
Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
2
Ministry for Primary Industries, PO Box 2526, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
3
Charles Perkins Centre and School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2019, 9(8), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080524
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 22 July 2019 / Accepted: 29 July 2019 / Published: 2 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Welfare Assessment Protocol)
Public concern for animal welfare in food production continues to grow. However, its growth does not correspond with the increase in demand for higher welfare products, giving rise to an outcome known as the attitude–behaviour gap. Addressing this attitude–behaviour gap and supporting consumers to make higher animal welfare choices in the supermarket can play important roles in improving the lives of farm animals. Despite increasing awareness in this area, solutions aimed at minimizing this gap often focus on knowledge transfer and have not yet had a significant impact. The aim of this article is to review current knowledge around the attitude-behaviour gap, and situate it within the context of the behaviour change wheel; exploring the capabilities, opportunities, and motivations driving, as well as the barriers preventing consumers from making higher welfare food choices. Using this framework, the review aims to broadly identify how consumers can be encouraged to change their behaviour and buy higher welfare products.
Over the last several decades, positive public attitudes towards animal welfare have continued to develop. Consumers’ attitudes towards farm animal welfare indicate increasing concern about animal welfare in food production. Yet, this growing interest in the lives of farm animals does not correspond with a wholesale increase in demand for higher welfare products, providing evidence of the citizen-consumer attitude-behaviour gap (herein referred to as the attitude-behaviour gap). Minimising the attitude–behaviour gap and supporting consumers to make higher animal welfare choices may help producers to enhance the lives of farm animals. However, despite increasing awareness in this area, solutions to resolve this gap often focus on knowledge transfer and do not appear to have had a significant impact. The aim of this article is to review current knowledge around the attitude-behaviour gap, and situate it within the context of the behaviour change wheel; exploring the capabilities, opportunities, and motivations driving, as well as the barriers inhibiting consumers from making higher welfare food choices. Using this framework, the review aims to identify interventions that may boost consumer demand for higher welfare products sold at a premium price and provide suggestions for future research. Further work to increase understanding in this area is then also suggested. View Full-Text
Keywords: attitude-behaviour gap; behaviour change wheel; COM-B model; consumer attitudes; consumer concerns; farm animal welfare; food purchase decisions; higher welfare products attitude-behaviour gap; behaviour change wheel; COM-B model; consumer attitudes; consumer concerns; farm animal welfare; food purchase decisions; higher welfare products
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Cornish, A.; Jamieson, J.; Raubenheimer, D.; McGreevy, P. Applying the Behavioural Change Wheel to Encourage Higher Welfare Food Choices. Animals 2019, 9, 524.

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