Consumer's evaluation of enriched seafood product concepts / Consumer survey of enriched seafood dishes
Compared to consumers elsewhere in the West, consumers in Europe seem to be more skeptical about food enrichment, and although food health claims carry a message of health effects, they do not necessarily make the product more attractive to consumers. Therefore, the development of enriched foods requires an understanding of consumer demands. An online survey was conducted to evaluate consumers' responses to product ideas on seafood that had been enriched with omega-3, fish proteins and algae, with different information on possible effects and functional properties. Icelandic consumers (n = 460) evaluated ideas for cod products and the results showed that enrichment of such seafood was a viable option, especially with omega-3. Although information on enrichment had a rather negative effect on people's experience of product ideas, information on ingredients and health effects of consumption had a positive effect on people's experience and the likelihood of buying the products in question. The impact of such information was somewhat greater among those consumers who placed more emphasis on health and had a positive attitude towards targeted foods. Finnish consumers (n = 432) evaluated ideas for salmon products and the results showed that the enrichment of seafood with kelp was one of the best results, especially when information on the reduction of salt content was included. From the results, it can be concluded that the enrichment of seafood is a realistic option. However, it is very important to consider the labels and information to consumers about such products.
Compared to consumers elsewhere in the Western world, European consumers generally seem to be more suspicious towards enrichment of food. Although health claims in food products communicate the health effect, it does not necessarily make the products more appealing to consumers. Therefore, development of enriched foods requires understanding of consumers' demands. The aim of this study was to measure consumer responses towards various concepts of enriched seafood products. Web ‐ based questionnaires were used to study Icelandic and Finnish consumers' responses towards concepts of convenience seafood products enriched with omega ‐ 3, fish proteins and seaweed extracts with different information about possible effects / functional properties. Icelandic consumers (n = 460) evaluated cod product concepts and the results showed that enrichment of convenience seafood was a realistic option, especially with omega ‐ 3. Although information about enrichment had rather negative effects, information about ingredients and health effects positively affected product perception and buying intention. The effect of information was greater among consumers which placed higher emphasis on health and expressed more positive attitudes towards functional foods. Two sets of Finnish consumers (n = 432) evaluated nine salmon product concepts. The results showed that products enriched with seaweed received relatively the highest scores, especially when information about salt reduction was provided. To conclude, enrichment of convenience seafood products with marine based ingredients is a realistic option. However, it is very important to consider labeling and information provided to the consumers.