The Effect Of Proposition 2 On The Demand For Eggs In California
In 2008, 63.5% of California voters cast their ballots in support of Proposition 2, which limits the severe confinement of farmed animals, including egg-laying hens. This study investigated the market effects of Proposition 2 by tracking consumer demand for eggs prior to the vote, finding that such legislation positively affects the demand for “higher welfare” eggs.
Prior to the passing of Proposition 2, in both San Francisco and Oakland, consumer demand for higher welfare eggs increased over time while demand for other types of eggs declined. In other geographical areas not affected by the vote, demand for such eggs remains unchanged. Therefore, this research suggests that Proposition 2 increased demand for higher welfare eggs. More specifically, the demand for cage-free eggs increased by 180% and the demand for organic eggs increased by 20%.
Moreover, merely including an issue like Proposition 2 on the voting agenda may affect consumer preferences by increasing consumer awareness of modern practices. Even if such legislation encourages retailers to import cage eggs from other locales, therefore, consumer awareness is likely to grow and ultimately result in greater demand for higher animal welfare eggs, according to the study’s author.