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How Much More Are Consumers Willing To Pay For Responsible Seafood?

Substantial support for sustainable seafood has been revealed by a recent study that found that 60 percent of consumers are willing to pay a premium on seafood that is socially responsible. Products with a third party certification validating their responsibility are suspected to yield an even higher willingness to pay (WTP).
The paper “Are People Willing to Pay More for Socially Responsible Products: A Meta-Analysis”, undertaken by researchers at NYU Stern School of Business, analyzed 83 different research papers on whether consumers would pay a premium on responsible products. They found that the average premium across all product types was 17.3 percent.
Researchers concluded that 60 percent of people would pay the extra cost to ensure that the product was sourced responsibly and sustainably.
Sustainable seafood was categorized under environmental beneficiary products since the practices focus on the future of the eco-system. Around 80 percent of the papers analyzed concentrated on a product with an environmental advantage.
While the inclusion of an official certification on a product to verify it as socially responsible did not change the proportion of people willing to pay more, it was revealed that consumers would be happy to pay an even higher premium for the presence of an eco-label.
Limitations in the study were identified by the researchers however, who highlighted its inability to test differences in WTP over time. “While we would have liked to test whether WTP has declined over the years and during economic recessions, the majority of studies did not report the year(s) in which data were collected…Future research in this area would be fruitful.”
The research paper draws a parallel with a new Nielsen study that found that an average of 50 percent of consumers globally would pay more for goods and services from companies that have executed programs that will benefit society.
This same study however questioned the truth behind what consumers were saying and found that while several markets indicated a high willingness to pay more for responsible products, the reality of people actually buying these products provided a much lower percentage.
The Nielson survey found that Europeans were least likely to pay more at 36 percent, while over two thirds of consumers in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand said they were willing to purchase with the premium.