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Does fish origin matter to European consumers? Insights from a consumer survey in Belgium, Norway and Spain
Vanhonacker, F.; Altintzoglou, T.; Luten, J.; Verbeke, W. (2011). Does fish origin matter to European consumers? Insights from a consumer survey in Belgium, Norway and Spain. Br. Food J. 113(4): 535-549.
In: British Food Journal. Emerald: Croydon. ISSN 0007-070X; e-ISSN 1758-4108, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 279762 [ OMA ]

Author keywords
    Fish farming; Consumer behaviour; Europe; Market value; Productinformation; Individual perception; Spain

Authors  Top 
  • Vanhonacker, F., more
  • Altintzoglou, T.
  • Luten, J., more
  • Verbeke, W., more


    Purpose – This study aims to gain insights into the relevance and market potential of fish origin (farmed or wild) among consumers in Belgium, Norway and Spain.

    Design/methodology/approach – Cross-sectional data were collected through a consumer survey (n=1,319), conducted in November-December 2007 in three European countries: Belgium, Norway and Spain. The study describes personal and food characteristics, as well as consumer attitudes and knowledge related to fish origin. Further, these characteristics were analysed in terms of their impact on the choice of either farmed or wild fish, using bivariate analyses.

    Findings – In general, European consumers have little knowledge or awareness regarding the origin of fish. This results in uncertainty in consumers' perception of farmed fish in particular. The study is in line with previous ones suggesting that perceptions of aquaculture and farmed fish are based more on emotions than on rational considerations. Still, the perception of farmed fish is positive in general. Consumers do not prioritise fish origin as an information cue, although variation is present between different consumer groups. Consumers of predominantly farmed versus wild fish did not have a very distinct profile, which corroborates with the only modest significance of fish origin as a product-specific information cue during the fish purchase and consumption decision process.

    Originality/value – The strength of the paper pertains to its international scope, and to the diversity of countries selected in terms of relevant variables. Also, the growing relevance of aquaculture as a fish production method and farmed fish as a food product makes results and findings of the study topical and of practical relevance.

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