Exploring consumer's preferences for farmed sea bream

Springer Netherlands
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Aquacultural International, 2012, 20 (4), pp. 673 - 691
Issue Date:
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Sea bream (Sparus aurata) production plays a significant part in Italian aquaculture, contributing to almost 18% of national pisciculture sales revenue. In recent years, Italian firms faced higher competition from countries with lower production costs. This prompted responses toward both cost reduction and product differentiation. The objective of this study was to investigate the preferences of Italian consumers for sea bream from fish farms, with a focus on aspects of product differentiation as gleaned from the analysis of the market situation: price, product origin, type and place of fish farming, and, in particular, type of feed. Data were collected with a consumers' survey using personal interviews conducted on a questionnaire that included a choice experiment. Consumer preferences were analyzed with choice models based on stated preference data. The models made it possible to evaluate the potential of products with different combinations of attributes for which there is currently no market information available. In particular, the country of origin emerged as an important element of consumer choice, and to a lesser degree, organic certification and fish farming in marine cages also play a relevant role and may command a price premium.
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