Comparing importance and confidence for production and source attributes of seafood among residents and tourists in South Carolina and Florida coastal communities
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Comparing importance and confidence for production and source attributes of seafood among residents and tourists in South Carolina and Florida coastal communities

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  • Journal Title:
  • Description:
    The call for environmentally sustainable seafood consumption is growing. Seafood-related behavior is often an outcome of assessing attributes of the product (e.g., taste, freshness, source). To shift consumer (i.e., tourists and residents) preferences toward environmentally sustainable products, many coastal communities of the United States (U.S.) promote production (i.e., Wild-caught, Environmentally sustainable) and source (i.e., Harvested locally, Safe from pollutants) attributes of local seafood. Even if consumers believe these production and source attributes are important, they may lack confidence in their ability to distinguish them when purchasing seafood. Expansion of sustainable coastal mariculture is recommended for food security and enhancing economic resilience of local commercial fisheries, but this newer production attribute (i.e., Farmed in marine waters) adds more complexity to consumer decision-making. Research examining the difference between importance and confidence for seafood attributes is limited. This study surveyed tourists and residents in South Carolina and Florida (U.S.) coastal communities where varying levels of tourism and commercial seafood harvest, including marine farming of shellfish, were occurring. The research measured these consumers' level of importance and confidence for production and source attributes when purchasing seafood in the coastal community. Residents rated importance and confidence higher than tourists for some attributes, but there was no difference between states for tourist or resident subgroups. Both tourists and residents rated confidence lower than importance for all attributes. An Importance-Confidence Analysis (ICA), adapted from Importance-Performance Analysis (IPA), identified attributes needing enhanced marketing and consumer education. The ICA indicated that Environmentally sustainable and Safe from pollutants were high priorities for improving confidence. The low priority rating for Farmed in marine waters was deemed misleading because improved outreach for this attribute could reduce barriers to acceptance and improve recognition.
  • Source:
    Appetite, 146: 104510
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    Accepted Manuscript
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