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Target groups for fish from aquaculture: Consumer segmentation based on sustainability attributes and country of origin
- Risius, Antje, Hamm, Ulrich, Janssen, Meike
- Aquaculture 2019 v.499 pp. 341-347
- aquaculture, ecolabeling, fish, food production, interviews, local food systems, marketing strategies, markets, models, organic foods, ponds, prices, provenance
- Sustainable food products have become significantly more important over the last decades. One example is the constant growth in the market for organic food. However, market shares for sustainable aquaculture products remain small. Parallel to emerging markets for sustainable foods, consumers' interest in the geographical origin, in particular domestic and local food production evolved. The aim of this paper was to elicit target groups for fish from sustainable aquaculture and their preferences for different countries of origin. Choice experiments and structured interviews were conducted with 447 German consumers of fish to analyze heterogeneous consumer groups. The results of latent class modelling yielded five target groups. One consumer segment (19%) was predominantly considering sustainability labels and claims on production criteria, i.e. ‘production in natural ponds’ and ‘sustainably produced’. The largest consumer segment (39%) placed highest importance on the COO while sustainability labels and claims had a positive but much weaker impact. Yet, another consumer segment (20%) gave the country of origin priority over all other attributes. Two more classes based their choice primarily on price, with one class preferring premium prices and the other class low prices. Marketers of sustainable aquaculture products are advised to source products from countries of origin that consumers prefer, and prominently declare the country of origin. For reaching new target groups, certified sustainable producers should not only rely on their label. It is recommended to focus on production criteria of consumer interest, for example the production in natural ponds, and state these on the product package.