Johnston, Robert J.

By: Johnston, Robert J.; Roheim, Cathy A.
Consumers face pressure from environmental groups to modify their seafood purchase decisions based on concerns about fisheries' production practices. Existing research provides little information indicating whether seafood consumers are willing to change purchasing behavior based on a product's environmental attributes, to the exclusion of other attributes. We describe a contingent ranking experiment addressing preferences for fresh seafood, allowing for choices among different species, some displaying an ecolabel. Results suggest consumers consider overfishing sufficiently important to contemplate changing the species of fish they buy; however, they are unwilling to choose a less-favored species based solely on the presence of an ecolabel.
By: Johnston, Robert J.; Roheim, Cathy A.; Donath, Holger; Asche, Frank
An analysis of consumer preferences for seafood labeled with information about environmental production attributes is introduced into the food labeling literature. International seafood ecolabeling programs have proposed to create market-based incentives for fisheries managers to promote sustainable fisheries. We investigate differences in consumer preferences for ecolabeled seafood across the United States and Norway. Using a contingent-choice telephone survey of random households in each nation, a wide range of factors is found to influence consumers' likelihood of purchasing ecolabeled seafood. Consumer preferences differ by price premium, species, consumer group, and certifying agency. The effect of these factors often differs between the United States and Norway, suggesting heterogeneity in international reactions to seafood ecolabels.