Consumer and Retailer Demand for Local Seafood: Opportunities in the N.H. Marketplace

Posted: February 3, 2014

TAC Member Charlie French, of the University of New Hampshire, along with a team from UNH's Cooperative Extension and UNH's Department of Natural Resources recently conducted a study to explore consumer and retailer demand for locally caught seafood.

This past year, a team from UNH Cooperative Extension and UNH's Department of Natural Resources conducted a study that was funded by NH SeaGrant to explore consumer and retailer demand for locally-caught seafood.

Given the recent cut to quotas for cod and other species, New Hampshire's commercial fishery has been struggling to stay afloat and many fisherman have sold their permits to boats from neighboring states. Considering the impacts that reductions to New Hampshire's fleet have had on local fisherman, the economy, and seacoast communities, this study seeks to:

  1. Characterize consumer preferences and demand for NH-caught seafood, particularly underutilized species such as redfish, hake and Pollack.
  2. Understand what seafood product characteristics - including species and product quality - retailers, restaurants and other market outlets are looking for with respect to seafood products.
  3. Identify new markets for local seafood, as well as opportunities to add value to seafood products so that fishermen capture more revenue.

The study incorporated multiple research methodologies, including a consumer preferences survey of 308 randomly selected New Hampshire residents, a survey of 90 seafood retail and restaurant outlets, seafood blind taste-tests and restaurants tasting and a farmers' market survey.

Read the full article with a summary of the survey results.