Application of the analytical hierarchy process to evaluate consumer acceptance and preferences for omega-3 enriched eggs

Yasmina Baba (Instituto de Sostenibilidad, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain)
Zein Kallas (Center for Agro-food Economy and Development, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain)
Carolina Realini (Polo de Rumiantes, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la Republica Uruguay, Salto, Uruguay)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Publication date: 3 July 2017



The purpose of this paper is to analyse the appropriateness of the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) to measure consumers’ acceptance and preference for eggs enriched with omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids as a health claim and to compare its results with the traditional nine-point hedonic scale.


The AHP was used as a multi-criteria decision analysis. Data were obtained from a face-to-face questionnaire completed by 122 consumers in a controlled environment in Cataluña (Spain).


Results showed the capacity of the AHP to analyse consumers’ acceptance and preferences. An agreement between the AHP and the nine-point scale was found showing that n-3 enriched eggs had lower flavour acceptance, conventional eggs had higher yolk colour acceptance, and conventional and the free-range eggs had similar and higher odour acceptance than the other egg types. The most important attributes that determine preferences for egg purchase were the type and the egg price followed by the origin and the egg size.

Research limitations/implications

The AHP approach seems to be a reliable tool to evaluate consumers’ hedonic preferences. However, further testing on other food products with larger sample size is needed.


The AHP methodology has been widely used in many fields in the last decades, but to the knowledge, not in the sensory field. In the Spanish market, studies that analyse consumers’ preferences and acceptance of eggs are scarce, and new insights are needed particularly regarding n-3 enriched eggs.



Baba, Y., Kallas, Z. and Realini, C. (2017), "Application of the analytical hierarchy process to evaluate consumer acceptance and preferences for omega-3 enriched eggs", British Food Journal, Vol. 119 No. 7, pp. 1459-1472.

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