Analysis of Consumer Preference for Product Attributes:A Case Of Indigenous Chicken in Makueni And Nairobi Counties, Kenya
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Indigenous chickens (Gallus domesticus) are important source of livelihoods and food to majority of rural and urban households in Kenya. Consumers prefer indigenous chicken due to its nutritional and health benefits. Despite these benefits, productivity levels of Indigenous chicken are low resulting to shortages in supply. In the recent past, research has focused on increasing productivity levels of indigenous chicken resulting to improved indigenous chickens. However, acceptability and utilization of indigenous chickens is still higher compared to that of improved indigenous chickens. This can be attributed toa dearth in information on consumer preference attributes in indigenous chicken which are not available in improved indigenous and exotic chickens.This study aimed to fill this gap in knowledgeby analyzing preference attributes in indigenous chicken meat and eggs which influences their choice in Makueni and Nairobi counties. This was achieved through three specific objectives that aimed to; evaluate social economic factors influencing consumption frequency of indigenous chicken, assess indigenous chicken meat and eggs attributes that influences choice and analyze the influence of indigenous chicken meat and eggs attributes on price. Multistage sampling technique was used to select 200 respondents inNairobi and Makueni counties. Primary data was collected in a cross sectional survey design using semi structured questionnaires that were administered through interview schedules. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used in data analysis with the aid of Microsoft Excel and STATA 11 version software. For the first objective, binary logistic regression model was employed, in the second objective principal component analysis was used while hedonic pricing model analyzedthe third objective. Results of the logit model indicated that age, education, gender, price and household size influenced consumption frequency. Principal component analysis results revealed that; Skin colour, size, tenderness, sex, freshness, skin texture and price influenced choiceof indigenous chicken in both counties. Consumers in Nairobi paid a premium price of 6% for cocks while in Makueni, chickens aged 8-20 weeks attracted price premium of 10% over those aged above 28 weeks. Chickens with black and white plumage colour received price discounts of 23% and 18% respectively. In indigenous chicken eggs, consumers in Makueni paid price premium of 10% for white shell coloureggs while those in Nairobi paid price premium of 9% for brown colour over white coloured eggs. The study recommended that farmers should adopt production methods that enhance incorporation of the preference attributes. Tradersshould adopt appropriate marketing mix based on attributes of preference and segment the chicken market based on the social economic characteristics of the consumers. Research institutions need toincorporate attributes of interest to consumers in their breeding programmes so as to enhance consumer acceptability and utilization.