Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Happy Hens or Healthy Eggs: A Content Analysis of Supermarket Egg Box Graphics.

Version 1 : Received: 30 July 2020 / Approved: 31 July 2020 / Online: 31 July 2020 (08:19:40 CEST)

How to cite: Hill, K. Happy Hens or Healthy Eggs: A Content Analysis of Supermarket Egg Box Graphics.. Preprints 2020, 2020070738 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0738.v1). Hill, K. Happy Hens or Healthy Eggs: A Content Analysis of Supermarket Egg Box Graphics.. Preprints 2020, 2020070738 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0738.v1).

Abstract

How a species is represented by marketers of animal-based products both reflects and shapes how consumers think about that animal. By examining the explicit statements, and implicit messages encoded in the imagery on supermarket egg boxes, this paper explores how hens are represented by whole egg retailers. Content analysis reveals two prominent messages purveyed through eggbox graphics, namely those pertaining to hen welfare and human health. The later disenfranchises hens from their products by focusing on the nutritional value of eggs, whereas the former reflects a public concern for the welfare of egg-laying hens. Although claims of improvements in welfare practices are undoubtedly exploited as marketing tools, they serve to raise awareness and drive competitors to adopt similar practices. Welfare claims are a direct response to public concerns about the plight of hens, and may positively influence industry welfare standards. However, idyllic depictions displayed on eggboxes also lull consumers into the belief that those eggs are an ethically sound food choice, regardless of the actual standard of living experienced by the hens.

Subject Areas

animal representation; animal-based foods; marketing; eggs; hen welfare

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