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Assessing consumers' attitudes, expectations and intentions towards health and sustainability regarding seafood consumption in Italy

Gabriele Sacchettini; Greta Castellini; Guendalina Graffigna; Christine Yung Hung; Milena Lambri; António Marques; Federica Perrella; Mariarosaria Savarese; Wim Verbeke; Ettore Capri

The EU and its Member States have articulated a sustainability vision ‘to live well within the limits of our planet’ by 2050. In this context, consumers play a key role, being able to drive seafood production sustainability and responsibility according to their behaviour, also in relation to their attitudes towards health, nutrition and wellbeing. On the basis of these premises, this research explores Italian consumers' attitudes towards health and sustainability in relation to seafood, in order to segment different target of consumers. The framework used in this study is mainly focused on a quantitative exploratory data collection based on an online survey. Three groups of consumerswere identified based on general health interest, perceived benefits of eating seafoods and attitude towards seafoods: Health seekerswho eat seafood for duty; Health seekers and seafood lovers; Lowcommitment to health and indifferent to seafood. Differences among groups related to socio-demographic characteristics, sustainability attitudes, intentions and interest in information about seafood productswere also investigated. In particular, the first two groups are more familiar with sustainable seafood products and more interested in information on these products than the third, both in terms of product origin and seasonality. Consumers belonging to second group show a higher probability to buy seafood products considering this characteristic than the other two groups. Based on the results obtained, a strategic plan could be developed to achieve relevant goals in education, communication and sustainability labelling related with seafood products. Following a preliminary scouting carried out with all the seafood stakeholders, a specific territory to test this approach has been already identified in Torre del Cerrano (Italy). These results have a strong implication for policy makers and educational institutions as they identify differences in attitudes and perceptions among consumers that are crucial in order to design the right communication strategy strategies as well as messages content.

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