Portuguese consumers ‘willing to pay more’ for Omega-3 enriched fish

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Around seven out of 10 Portuguese consumers would pay more for fish enriched with omega-3, according to a study carried out by B2E – Blue Bioeconomy CoLAB (B2E CoLAB).

The survey found that 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 we carried out 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. 15.4% admit to paying €1.50 more and 12% €2 or more.

The study was part of the OmegaPeixe project, which aims to encourage the production of turbot and sea bass 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 sea bass producer. For the first time this year, Portugal began producing fish enriched with omega-3.

Maria Coelho said: “The positive perception shown by those surveyed highlights the project’s potential to satisfy consumer needs and promote healthier and more sustainable eating habits.”

On the other hand, she added: “…the acceptance of functional foods, such as fish enriched with omega-3, emphasises the importance of robust scientific studies that support consumer confidence in the health benefits of these products”.

The Portuguese findings are 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.

B2E – Blue Bioeconomy CoLAB, based in Matosinhos, Portugal, is a private non-profit entity of universities, research centres and private companies, guided by principles of circularity, sustainability and social responsibility.

Maria Coelho, executive coordinator, B2E CoLAB

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