An Analysis of Tourists’ Preferences and Perceptions for Gulf Coast Seafood: Does Labeling Matter

This study analyzes the impacts of consumer differentiated Mississippi/Alabama Gulf Coast region (GCR) seafood products, specifically looking at consumers’ perceptions of preferences and how these products impact consumer choice for seafood in the GCR. The study uses the conceptual “lens” model, which examines the impact of product differentiation on consumer preferences through attribute perception labeling. This type of labeling provides consumers with perceptions of safety for labeled products, more specifically GCR seafood products in this study. These perceptions of product attributes are determined endogenously when looking at the choice to consume GCR seafood in the model. To control for this endogeneity, use of a stated preference discrete choice random utility model will be used to examine the consumers’ preferences for perceptions (labels) on the stated preference to consume seafood when traveling to the GCR, both before and after the Deep Water Horizon oil spill. Both bivariate probit estimation, as well as a ranked order logit procedure are used to estimate the impact of these perception preferences on the likelihood to consume GCR seafood. Understanding these consumer preferences and impacts of product labeling, especially after disasters and shocks, can help to make the GCR seafood industry more resilient thereby creating a more resilient community. Preliminary results show that consumers traveling to the GCR value safe seafood, and have an increased likelihood of consuming GCR seafood when safe seafood perception value is increased (i.e.: industry approved safe labels). Also, higher income tourists are more likely to consume GCR seafood, while total GCR travel expenditure, increasing age, & and perceptions of GCR seafood freshness seem to be consistently not a factor. Although perceived freshness does seem to matter most for consumers of GCR seafood at festivals. GCR seafood certified safe by industry and certified sustainable increase the likelihood to consume GCR seafood most. Implications could be that local policymakers should be more involved in promoting industry, and GCR seafood industry should concentrate on label promotion.

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
D120; D180
This is a preliminary, working paper. Please address all shortcoming and comments to Derrick Robinson. Thank you!

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-05-27

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