The majority of Portuguese consumers are willing to pay more for fish enriched with omega-3. This is one of the main conclusions of the study carried out by B2E – Blue Bioeconomy CoLAB (B2E CoLAB), as part of the OmegaPeixe Portuguese project.
According to the survey, 69.3% of people admitted to being willing to pay more for fish enriched with this nutrient. “There is, in fact, a greater awareness among consumers of the relationship between nutrition and health and this study proves it,” said Maria Coelho, B2E CoLAB's executive coordinator.
In an online survey, the results revealed a significant interest in buying fish enriched with omega-3. Of the 817 people surveyed living in Portugal, only 30.7% were not willing to pay more than the normal price. Of the 69.3% who were willing to pay more for fish enriched with this nutrient, the majority (37.6%) were willing to pay an extra euro and 35.1% an extra 50 cents. Fifteen point four percent admit to paying 1.50 euros more and 12% two or more euros.
“The positive perception shown by those surveyed highlights the project's potential to satisfy consumer needs and promote healthier and more sustainable eating habits,” said Maria Coelho, recalling the OmegaPeixe project's ultimate goal of producing differentiated turbot and seabass with a high nutritional value, particularly with a high omega-3 content.
On the other hand, adds the executive coordinator of B2E CoLAB, “the acceptance of functional foods, such as fish enriched with omega-3, emphasizes the importance of robust scientific studies that support consumer confidence in the health benefits of these products”.
The Portuguese reality is in line with the figures recorded among respondents in other countries, particularly in Europe. In a total of 1,314 surveys (including Portugal), 71.3% said they were willing to pay more for fish enriched with omega-3. Only 28.7% respondents were resistant to price changes.
OmegaPeixe project was developed with the aim of producing turbot and seabass with levels of omega-3 recommended by the World Health Organization. To this end, in collaboration with ICBAS/CIIMAR and companies specializing in aquaculture research and development, Sparos and Riasearch, different feeding strategies were tested and improvements made to finishing diets, which were put into practice by Flatlantic, a turbot producer, and AlgaPlus, an organic seabass producer. For the first time this year, Portugal began producing fish enriched with omega-3.
The study conducted and prepared by B2E CoLAB will be presented on September 21 at Aquaculture Europe.