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Consumer Perceptions of Seafood Industries in the Wake of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster

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  • McKendree, Melissa G.S.
  • Ortega, David L.
  • Widmar, Nicole Olynk
  • Wang, H. Holly
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    Abstract

    The impact of environmental disasters on consumers’ perceptions and preferences for specific food items has seldom been studied in the applied economics literature. Recent aquatic disasters, namely the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster, have had profound impacts on fisheries serving US consumers and on agribusinesses within the aquaculture industry. This study explores consumer preferences using a nation-wide representative sample, and finds that twenty-nine percent of US consumers sought to reduce their seafood consumption due to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and one-third of respondents indicated they sought to reduce their seafood consumption in the wake of the Daiichi nuclear disaster Additionally, over 50% believed that Asian seafood poses a consumer health risk because of the Japanese nuclear disaster. Understanding key factors that influence consumer behavior in the wake of environmental disasters can make fisheries, seafood industries and agribusiness more resilient when facing such catastrophic events. Our results find that key socio-demographic variables affect consumer behavior including gender, age, food safety concerns, value for country of origin labeling, and geographic location. Careful and efficient response by the seafood supply chain will enable effective communication with consumers and allow for optimal policy decision-making.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics in its series Staff Papers with number 155582.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:midasp:155582

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    Keywords: Seafood; Consumer perceptions; Deepwater Horizon; Fukushima Daiichi; Aquatic disaster; Agribusiness; Environmental Economics and Policy; Livestock Production/Industries; Marketing; Q00; Q18; Q22;

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    1. Warren J Bilkey & Erik Nes, 1982. "Country-of-Origin Effects on Product Evaluations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 13(1), pages 89-100, March.
    2. Zhifeng Gao & Ted C. Schroeder, 2007. "Effects of Label Information on Consumer Willingness-to-Pay for Food Attributes," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(3), pages 795-809.
    3. Schroeder Ted C. & Tonsor Glynn T. & Pennings Joost M.E. & Mintert James, 2007. "Consumer Food Safety Risk Perceptions and Attitudes: Impacts on Beef Consumption across Countries," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-29, December.
    4. Jordan J. Louviere & Towhidul Islam & Nada Wasi & Deborah Street & Leonie Burgess, 2008. "Designing Discrete Choice Experiments: Do Optimal Designs Come at a Price?," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 360-375, 03.
    5. Hong, Sung-Tai & Wyer, Robert S, Jr, 1989. " Effects of Country-of-Origin and Product-Attribute Information on Product Evaluation: An Information Processing Perspective," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 175-87, September.
    6. Onyango, Benjamin M. & Miljkovic, Dragan & Hallman, William K. & Nganje, William E. & Condry, Sarah C. & Cuite, Cara L., 2008. "Food Recalls and Food Safety Perceptions: The September 2006 Spinach Recall Case," Journal of Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia, vol. 26(1).
    7. Richard Carson & Robert Mitchell & Michael Hanemann & Raymond Kopp & Stanley Presser & Paul Ruud, 2003. "Contingent Valuation and Lost Passive Use: Damages from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 25(3), pages 257-286, July.
    8. Maheswaran, Durairaj, 1994. " Country of Origin as a Stereotype: Effects of Consumer Expertise and Attribute Strength on Product Evaluations," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 354-65, September.
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