Consumer attitudes and preferences towards pangasius and tilapia: The role of sustainability certification and the country of origin
The majority of farmed fish produced in Bangladesh is consumed domestically, while global demand for fish is increasing. Non-tariff barriers resulting from consumers’ concerns about sustainability and food safety or attitudes towards the country of origin might be one reason for limited export. The purpose of this study is to analyze consumer preferences for frozen pangasius and tilapia fillets from Bangladesh in order to explore market opportunities in Germany. A discrete choice experiment was conducted to estimate marginal utilities and willingness-to-pay for different product attributes, focusing on sustainability certification and the country of origin. Vietnam as a major exporter of pangasius to Germany was selected as a reference country for the analysis. The results of fitted mixed logit models indicate that German consumers are price-sensitive and prefer fish produced in Germany over fish farmed in either Bangladesh or Vietnam. While this finding seems not to be attributable to consumer ethnocentrism, country image constructs might play a role. A significant positive utility was identified for both sustainability and fair trade certification. The overall opt-out rate of the choice experiment was relatively high, indicating a general reluctance to consume pangasius and tilapia. Older respondents as well as those concerned about sustainability and those having less positive attitudes towards aquaculture were more likely to opt out. Overall, concerns about sustainability and the country of origin are relevant factors influencing purchase decisions, but aspects of taste and preferences for certain fish species might be even more significant in this context, limiting the market potential of pangasius and tilapia in Germany.
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