Toward crustacean without chemicals: a descriptive analysis of consumer response using price comparisons
Background: To date, there seems to be limited-to-zero emphasis about how consumers perceive crustacean products subject to either chemical and or non-chemical preservative treatments. In addition, studies that investigated price comparisons of crustacean products subject to either chemical or chemical-free preservative methods seem unreported.
Objective: This study focused on providing some foundational knowledge about how consumers perceive traditionally harvested crustaceans that are either chemical-treated and or free of chemicals, incorporating price comparisons using a descriptive approach.
Design: The study design employed a questionnaire approach via interview using a computer-assisted telephone system and sampled 1,540 participants across five key locations in Italy. To actualize consumer sensitivity, ‘price’ was the focus given its crucial role as a consumption barrier. Prior to this, variables such as demographic characteristics of participants, frequency of purchasing, quality attributes/factors that limit the consumption of crustaceans were equally considered.
Results: By price comparisons, consumers are likely to favor chemical-free (modified atmosphere packaging) crustacean products amid a price increase of up to 15%. But, a further price increase such as by 25% could markedly damage consumers’ feelings, which might lead to a considerable number opting out in favor of either chemical-treated or other seafood products. Comparing locations, the studied variables showed no statistical differences (p>0.05). On the contrary, the response weightings fluctuated across the studied categories. Both response weightings and coefficient of variation helped reveal more about how responses deviated per variable categories.
Conclusions: This study has revealed some foundational knowledge about how consumers perceive traditionally harvested crustaceans that were either chemical-treated or subject to chemical-free preservative up to price sensitivity using Italy as a reference case, which is applicable to other parts of the globe.
Keywords: consumers; crustacean product; chemical-free packaging; chemical additives; price; stakeholders
(Published: 28 October 2016)
Citation: Food & Nutrition Research 2016, 60: 30955 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v60.30955
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