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Work Package 4: Products, consumers and seafood market trends

General information


WP4 will analyse the impact of consumer behaviour, market trends, innovation and product development in the seafood market. Work undertaken will be carried out in close co-operation with industry partners and key stakeholders. As a first step, micro-economic tools will be used to analyse how factors such as income, own prices and prices of substitute goods affect the demand for the chosen species. For this purpose, complete and/or partial systems of demand will be estimated. Results will highlight fish consumption within the consumers' diets, depending on country and types of consumers and will be used to simulate the effects of various price policies.

In a second stage, past and current consumer preference trends will be analysed and the acceptability of fish products examined by looking at consumption in local, niche and global markets. The specific area of demand stimulation or manipulation through health, label and certification claims on one hand and negative press reports on the other hand will be analysed quantitatively where possible and compared with consumer acceptability of products using Conjoint Analysis.

Finally, a database of successes and failures in product development and consumer behaviour will be used as a background material for trend research, yielding insights into product innovation and which product characteristics best fit consumers’ preferences. The outcome of the WP will be an overview of current and future trends and consumer behaviour in local, European and international seafood markets (SO4).


D4.1 - Industry study cases report: A collection of marketing successes and failures in the World based on clever product innovation and/or marketing activities

Innovation is a ‘good, service or idea that is perceived by someone as new’. It is widely acknowledged that innovation is required for the growth of output and productivity and is also seen as a key to business success in a competitive environment. In 2012, the food and drink manufacturing industry in the European Union was the largest manufacturing sector in terms of value of the output with 15% of the total manufacturing turnover. However, it is widely perceived as not highly innovative. In addition, the commonly reported figures for new food product failure are between 70% and 90%. (Click title to read more)

D4.2 - Qualitative research report: analysis interviews aimed mainly at identifying the main positive and negative drivers of fish/seafood consumption (for the chosen species)

This deliverable describes one of PrimeFish objectives which was to study and analyse the European seafood market in general and five specific seafood supply-chains in particular, and Work Package 4 will highlight fish consumption within the consumers' diets, depending on country and types of consumers and will be used to simulate the effects of various price policies and provide indications of current and future trends and consumer behaviour in local, European and international seafood markets.

D4.3 - Report on the development of fish consumption and demand in France and Finland

This document reports the results of task 4.3.1 entitled “Household purchases in France and Finland,” which is one of the quantitative studies included in WP4 on “Products, consumers and seafood market trends.” The objectives as stated in the description of work are, first, to present an overview of the evolution of fish and seafood consumed by French and Finnish households, and, second, to analyse the determinants of that consumption, focusing in particular on prices, income and household’s socio-demographics as drivers of demand.

D4.4 - Report on the impacts of increased fish consumption on economic, health and environmental attributes

In recent years, concerns over the sustainability of food consumption patterns in high-income countries have emerged due to the now well-documented negative effects of some diets on both health and the environment. Research seeking improvements generally supports a move away from animal-based products towards plant-based products, but the role that fish and seafood might play in sustainable diets remains unclear. In particular, little is known about how promotion of fish consumption through generic advertising and other informational measures might affect the environmental and health properties of whole diets, nor whether that type of promotion would be cost-effective; that is, represent money well spent from a societal point of view.

This study analyses those questions by adapting a model of whole-diet adjustment to dietary constraints to simulate how French and Finnish consumers would change their diets if urged to raise their consumption of fish at the margin (that is, by a small amount from currently observed levels).

D4.5 - Report on frequencies of consumer purchases

A great range of seafood is available in the French fish market such as; salmon, cod, shrimp, saithe, trout, whiting, sea bream, sea bass, nile perch, sardine, pangasius, sole, mackrel, skate, etc. The most popular ones are salmon and cod, both in terms of value and frequency of purchases. According to ViaAqua (2010) salmon ranked first in 2008 with 45% rate of consumer purchases whereas cod ranked second with a 31% share. Furthermore, French fish consumption continuous to move from frozen, salted, or dried fish towards more valuable fresh seafood (INRA, 2007). For this reason, it was decided to base the analysis in this case study on five different groups of seafood products, two of which comprise salmon and two of which comprise cod. The categories are; fresh salmon, frozen salmonids (salmon and trout), fresh cod, frozen white fish (cod, haddock, saithe etc.) and all other seafood products. The last category therefore includes tuna.

The purpose of this case study is to analyse the fish consumption of French households. In particular, the aim is to determine what types of consumers purchase the five different seafood product categories mentioned above. We approach the problem from the angle of purchasing freequencies, that is, how often households purchase various types of fish. The object is to combine aspects from the marketing literature and the economic demand literature, which have analysed consumer behavior from different angles, to utilise the strengths of both approaches in order to produce valuable information for those who wish to sell fish in France.

D4.6 - Report on social awareness, attempts to stimulate fish consumption and negative press

In order to develop a solid food production and distribution system, it is vital to understand the factors (individual characteristics, foods attributes, and environmental determinants) which influence fish consumption. Furthermore, the analysis of consumers’ attitude towards contaminants in fish will provide important insight for health authorities which are interested in improving public health. Thus, the study of these factors can be useful not only for the social or economic aspects, but for solving the environmental problems, caused by this industry as well.

A two-part study was realised in order to respond to the question: “Can information concerning the negative effects of fish consumption influence the consumers’ intention to eat fish?”

The first part is the empirical study which consists of the explanation of the main determinants of fish consumption by analysing the most relevant academic literature. Findings regarding perception of health risks associated with fish consumption represent the emphasis of the literature’s review. The examination of methods and limitations of previous studies helped in defining the research method for this analysis.

The survey data were collected through questionnaires with an experimental message design. Each of the respondents had to be exposed to only one of the four risk messages. Before reading the risk message, the respondents were asked to rank on the Likert scales their attitudes regarding fish consumption. After having read the message, the respondents were asked to rank again their attitudes. Thus, the change in attitudes permitted to assess the impact of negative information.

The final step was to cross the responses regarding the attitudes/intentions and the version of the questionnaire to highlight the possible differences in perception.

D4.7 - Choice modelling report on innovative features and the consumers’ willingness to pay

The objective of this study was to investigate consumer demand and choice behaviour for fresh fish at the retail market. In particular, we examined consumer preferences for different fish alternative species, as well as different attributes, using a labelled choice experiment (LCE). The outcomes allow to elicit consumers’ preferences and willingness to pay (WTP) for the salient attributes of a variety of fresh fish species in the retail market.(Click title to read more)

D4.8 - Manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal on frequencies and consumer patterns

A manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal on frequencies and consumer patterns.

D4.9 - Manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal on the effects of health and environmental factors on fish consumption

This deliverable summarizes our efforts to validate and communicate the results of task 4.3.2 (Impacts of increased fish consumption) by means of a submission to a peer-reviewed scientific journal. That specific task belongs itself to a group of quantitative studies (task 4.3) in work package 4 (Products, consumers and seafood market trends). The intended audience of the journal article is primarily the scientific community, but the executive summary is written in plain language and is therefore understandable to other stakeholder groups. 

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