In households across the world, consumers have been choosing to eat fish over red meats. Scientific research has shown that a diet consisting of fish does have positive effects on human health. Alternatively, a diet high in red meat has been linked to health risks. Eating copious amounts of red meat can lead to several chronic diseases including, diabetes, coronary heart disease and certain cancers. As more people are opting for fish as their main source of protein, governments and international organizations have invested their resources to promote the consumption of fish. As consumer preferences are changing, Dr Emilio Morales tests whether or not consumers are willing to pay more for fish than they do for meat. Another important question posed in Dr Morales research, is ‘does the increase in fish expenditure shares have a detrimental effect on meat expenditure shares?’
Dr Morales investigated consumer survey data collected in Modern Metropolitan Lima, Peru. This data was analysed to assess the influence of selected variables on meat and fish expenditure shares and on consumers’ willingness to pay extra for fish over beef, chicken and pork. His results indicated that among other significant variables, the belief that fish is healthy and nutritious for the family increased the willingness to pay extra for fish respect to meats. The data indicated as the monthly expenses increased on fish, the expenditure on beef reduced. Dr Morales’ findings demonstrate the effectiveness that campaigns promoting regular fish consumption based on its characteristics and health benefits can achieve on willingness to pay more for fish respect to meat and on fish expenditure share.
In addition, these outcomes confirm the influence of detrimental spill over effects on meat preferences. Dr Morales recommends that this change in consumer preferences needs to be considered by authorities and the food industry. New marketing strategies can be developed to increase the consumption of specific fish and meat products that have positive health and nutrition properties. Furthermore, food processors and retailers could introduce and promote new products in convenient formats for meal preparation and consumption of fish and meat as part of a healthy diet.
Dr L. Emilio Morales’ research is found in two of his research papers. The first paper ‘Should we spend more on fish? – How consumer beliefs about fish influence fish and meat expenditure shares’. This article is under review. The second article ‘Is Fish Worth More than Meat’ is going through the publication process and should be available in the coming months. You can read more about Dr L. Emilio Morales here: https://www.une.edu.au/staff-profiles/business/lmorales