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Aussies think ethical eggs tastier: study

Australians who buy free-range and cage-free eggs do so for more than just ethical reasons, a study shows.

Researchers from the University of Adelaide's Food Values Research Group have found quality and taste rank high in people's decision to buy eggs that are ethically produced.

Lead researcher Heather Bray says the finding is unexpected, as her team predicted the welfare of chickens was the primary reason people bought free-range eggs.

"We thought that people would say, well I'm worried about the hens, I want to have them produced in a different system," she told AAP on Wednesday.

"But the quality message came through really strong in what they were telling us."

Dr Bray said the research, conducted through extensive interviews with about 75 people at shopping centres and in focus groups in Adelaide, is the first to show how personal benefits motivate people to make ethical foods choices.

"That might be one of the reasons why they are paying a premium for these kind of products," she said.

© AAP 2017

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