What is most important when buying fish: the price, the country of origin, whether it is fresh or frozen or whether it is wild or farm-raised? The average Spanish consumer prefers above all that their fish comes from Spain, according to a study published in the 'Food Quality and Preference' journal. Spain is the largest producer of fish in the European Union but in recent years its population has consumed less fish, especially seafood.
A team of scientists brought together nearly 900 consumers from nine Autonomous Communities (Andalusia, Asturias, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Cantabria, Catalonia, Galicia, Madrid and Murcia) to analyse their preferences when buying fish. Evaluated factors included the country of origin (Spain, Morocco and Norway), whether they were fished or farm-raised, their conservation method (fresh or frozen) and the price (6/kg, 12/kg and18/kg).
The results reveal that the place of origin (Spain in this case) is the most important factor for consumers when buying fish. The statistical analyses outline that the relative importance of the country of origin stands at 42.96%, whereas the other three variables are less than half: 20.58% for storage conditions, 19.13% for price and 18.01% for whether the fish is wild or farm-raised.
Published in this month's 'Food Quality and Preference' journal, the study suggests that preference for national fish could be attributed to reliability that it offers the consumer. Spain has a longstanding tradition of fishing and so homeland products are considered to be fresher than their imported counterparts. A tendency to consume more fresh than frozen fish also seems to point in this direction.
"In general, the native, wild, fresh and low to medium priced (6-12 /kg) fish is the preferred option amongst Spanish consumers," as explained to SINC by Anna Claret i Coma from the Institute for Research and Technology in Food and Agriculture (IRTA) and
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