Consumers' Preferences for the Traceability Information of Seafood Safety

Foods. 2022 Jun 7;11(12):1675. doi: 10.3390/foods11121675.


Due to importing food and the perpetual changes from conventional wet markets to supermarkets in emerging markets, consumers have the opportunity to base their buying decisions on traceability systems. Seafood traceability systems involve information on production mode, inspection notes, sustainable sources, and sources of origin to provide consumer protection and help ensure that all seafood is safe to consume. This study aims to explore seafood markets by assessing the demand for traceability information attributes by utilising data from an experimental survey in an emerging market such as Bangladesh. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analysis, and a conditional logit model. The results demonstrate that consumers are concerned regarding vitamins, cholesterol, and preservatives, while they are little concerned about microbiological contamination, pesticide residues, genetic modification, and additives or artificial colours. The difference between the mean willingness to pay (WTP) for traditional and sustainable farmed fish is higher than that between the mean WTP for conventional and sustainable wild fish. In a ranked-choice voting system, the 'production mode' and 'claim of safety control (e.g., being formalin-free)' were the first and second most influential attributes in fish choices. The outcomes of the econometric model revealed that consumers are more likely to prefer traceability information about fish control (e.g., formalin-free), and they want to pay a price premium for this information. Alternatively, consumers are less likely to prefer farmed and imported fish, and their WTP for these fishes are highly inflated. This finding may be because consumers use wild and local origin as a cue for food safety or quality. This study hopes that the effects of such traceability information will optimise the production process and supply chain and help make seafood recall management more effective.

Keywords: Bangladesh; chilled fish; consumer preference; emerging market; food safety; seafood traceability; willingness to pay.

Grants and funding

This study received no external funding. The publication charges (APC) for this article have been funded by a grant from the publication fund of UiT, The Arctic University of Norway.