Aquaculture International

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 673–691 | Cite as

Exploring consumer’s preferences for farmed sea bream

  • Gianluca Stefani
  • Riccardo Scarpa
  • Alessio Cavicchi


Sea bream (Sparus aurata) production plays a significant part in Italian aquaculture, contributing to almost 18% of national pisciculture sales revenue. In recent years, Italian firms faced higher competition from countries with lower production costs. This prompted responses toward both cost reduction and product differentiation. The objective of this study was to investigate the preferences of Italian consumers for sea bream from fish farms, with a focus on aspects of product differentiation as gleaned from the analysis of the market situation: price, product origin, type and place of fish farming, and, in particular, type of feed. Data were collected with a consumers’ survey using personal interviews conducted on a questionnaire that included a choice experiment. Consumer preferences were analyzed with choice models based on stated preference data. The models made it possible to evaluate the potential of products with different combinations of attributes for which there is currently no market information available. In particular, the country of origin emerged as an important element of consumer choice, and to a lesser degree, organic certification and fish farming in marine cages also play a relevant role and may command a price premium.


Consumer preferences Discrete choice models Sea bream 



The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Italian Ministry of University through the FISR, Special Integrated Fund for Research, Food Quality and Well being, project n. 176 “Innovative model for integrated management of mariculture plants for food safety and quality and environmental quality” (ALLITTIMA).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gianluca Stefani
    • 1
  • Riccardo Scarpa
    • 2
  • Alessio Cavicchi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Plant, Soil and Environmental SciencesUniversity of FirenzeFirenzeItaly
  2. 2.Waikato Management SchoolUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand
  3. 3.Department of Studies on Economic DevelopmentUniversity of MacerataMacerataItaly

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