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Barriers and drivers to increasing sustainable bivalve seafood consumption in a mass market economy

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Gawel, JPF 
Aldridge, DC 


jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pBivalve mollusc meat—that from mussels, clams, and oysters—offers a highly sustainable and nutritious alternative to meat from other shellfish, fish, or livestock. However, bivalves are an unpopular mass market food relative to these other meat items, limiting our ability to reap potential environmental and health benefits. Hence, this study aimed to assess current barriers to and drivers for bivalve consumption and investigated whether offering bivalves in a highly transformed (i.e., more processed) product format might help to drive consumption. The United Kingdom was used as a case study, and the study was performed via an online survey. Nutrition and quality of ingredients were key drivers, and price and convenience key barriers to bivalve consumption, with views on taste/smell/texture mixed. The more regularly individuals consumed meat, the more willing they were to try bivalves, and those who thought bivalves were healthier or more environmentally friendly than livestock were more likely to substitute bivalves for meat. Importantly, individuals were more willing to substitute highly transformed than minimally transformed (i.e., unprocessed) meats for bivalves. They were also willing to pay more for highly transformed bivalves than any other highly transformed meat product. We suggest that greater publicity regarding the health and environmental benefits of bivalve meat, and industry engagement to develop and pilot a greater range of appealing, affordable, and convenient bivalve products, are key actions that can help drive growth in the bivalve sector for planetary benefit.</jats:p>


Funder: Dawson Fellowship at St Catherines College, University of Cambridge

Funder: Henslow Fellowship at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge


aquaculture, fish, markets, processed foods, sustainability

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Food Frontiers

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