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The Effect of Color on Consumer WTP for Farmed Salmon

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Kjetil Aune


Marine Resource Economics ; Volume 20. p. 211–219. 2005

Steine, Gro; Alfnes, Frode; Rørå, Mia B.

Atlantic salmon is recognized for its pink-red color. The color is due to deposition of color pigments in the muscles. Wild salmon absorb the pink-red color pigment astaxanthin from the crustaceans they eat. To impart the pink-red color in farmed salmon, synthetically produced astaxanthin is added to their feed. The more astaxanthin, the redder the flesh becomes. In conventional salmon farming, the relatively expensive astaxanthin constitutes approximately 15% of the total feed costs. In this study, we use a stated choice experiment with pictures to investigate consumer willingness to pay (WTP) for salmon with different degrees of redness. The results show that consumer WTP increases with the redness of the salmon. However, when consumers were informed about the origin of the color, the WTP for the above-normal-red salmon was reduced.

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