Who tells us what to do? Pushing sustainable and healthy frozen fish

By Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn

- Last updated on GMT

How easy is it to change consumer behaviour? Campden BRI investigates. Photo Credit: Jeremy Hung
How easy is it to change consumer behaviour? Campden BRI investigates. Photo Credit: Jeremy Hung

Related tags: Campden bri, Seafood, Research

Consumer behaviour researchers at Campden BRI are investigating to what extent our choice of sustainable and healthy frozen fish products can be influenced by government and company interventions.

The ongoing study aims to “provide insight into good practices that would enhance perceived nutritional, health and environmental benefits of frozen fish amongst young mums (aged 18-40) ​and encourage them to purchase and consume more sustainable frozen fish products,”​ explained Michelle Chen, sensory research scientist at Campden BRI.

Sponsored in part by the Sea Fish Industry Authority, the study will also look into the most effective way of inducing these changes and at the gap between attitudes and behaviours.

Changing your mind

An example of a consumer intervention was seen in recent years when organisations such as Greenpeace International, the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research and the Seafood Watch tried to raise awareness about depleting cod stocks and encourage consumers to diversify their choice of white fish in order to alleviate this problem.

Over a 12 week period participants were encouraged to eat the recommended amount of fish, buy more frozen fish products - arguing frozen fish can be just as ‘fresh’ as fresh/chilled fish - and look out for and buy more fish with ‘sustainable’ labels and messages e.g. the MSC logo.

There were three groups of consumers recruited: group A and B were intervention groups and group C was a control group in which respondents did not receive any intervening materials nor participate in any activities. Consumers in group A and B both received leaflets via the post and web information via emails. In addition, consumers in group A were required to attend a series of four workshops.

“This type of intervention has been applied in the context of public health issues, e.g. smoking, drinking, and overeating, and can be applied to support branded product development initiatives,”​ Chen told FoodNavigator.

More to come

The researchers hope that the results from this study will be useful in future processes of policy change. However, they stressed that Campden BRI itself “does not play a role in lobbying for policy change. Our role is to conduct the research to assess the effectiveness of the approaches.”

The researchers hope to complete the study towards the end of the year. Campden BRI’s Member Subscription Funded Research (MSFR) will continue in the second year of the project by looking at the topic of sustainability, Chen told FoodNavigator.

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2 comments

Fish Scam

Posted by Peter Bruun,

Fish has never been healthy. Still isn't. Omega 3 oil is healthy and crucial to health, but fish is not the route to omega 3/DHA , as the heavy metals and bacteria in fish cause more inflammation than the DHA/omega 3 can repair. It's like pouring gasoline on a fire trying to stop it. It can't work, but will make it worse.

In order to get DHA, Customers must buy DHA from algea. It's without the heavy metals an bacteria and can at least be found in health shops and on Amazon.com. EPA omega 3 can be found in walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seed oil etc.

Fish or meat is not sustainable. It simply can't be. When someone is pushing something that's not sustainable as sustainable it's a marketing scam agenda. Nothing more.

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A meat-based diet it not sustainable

Posted by D. Lamb,

Too much land, water and grain-feed is used to raise livestock for human consumption. This excessive waste is destroying the earth's environment and hindering an equitable distribution of basic food to billions of undernourished people. Look beyond the blood on your plate; stop consuming meat and fish.

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