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Keywords:

  • consumer;
  • Internet survey;
  • seafood

Abstract

Consumer knowledge of and attitude toward seafood and seafood consumption was assessed using a nationwide Internet survey. The survey was evaluated for content validity and was pilot tested by consumers. There were 1062 respondents representing the US population for age, gender, income, ethnicity and geographic location. Respondents were asked questions regarding seafood consumption frequency, sources of information about seafood and preferred formats, knowledge of key seafood issues, and barriers to seafood consumption. Consumers were asked if they had heard positive or negative information about seafood and where they heard this information. Respondents were categorized as current seafood eaters (CSE), 88%; former seafood eaters (FSE), 9%; and nonseafood eaters (NSE), 3%. While only 22% of Americans met the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommendation of two servings of seafood each week, overall, 45% ate seafood at least once a week. Only 19% of women of childbearing age ate seafood two or more times per week. The top-ranking reason for not eating seafood or changing seafood consumption habits was taste preference (46%) for FSE and NSE respondents, and affordability (45%) for CSE. Based on the results of this survey, a better understanding of consumers’ seafood habits can be used for the development of balanced messages for consumers over a variety of demographics. Respondents chose the media (30%) and the Internet (14%) as their preferred seafood information resource.