Survey: Consumer awareness of MSC growing

An independent survey commission by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) shows that consumer awareness of the organization’s eco-label is growing.

According to the MSC, 30 percent of consumers who buy fish at least once every two months are aware of the MSC eco-label, up from 23 percent in 2010.

The biennial consumer survey conducted by Albemarle Marketing Research (AMR) seeks to understand consumer support for eco-labels in general, their attitudes toward sustainable seafood and MSC-labeled products. In 2012, a total of 5,977 interviews were completed in the United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, France, United States, Canada, Japan and Australia.

When shown the MSC eco-label, stripped of all text, 30 percent of respondents said they had seen it before, and more than 9 percent were then able to accurately describe, without any prompting, what the MSC eco-label stands for. That’s up from 5 percent in 2010.

In northern Europe, recognition of eco-label grew the most — 55 percent in Germany, up from 36 percent in 2010; 44 percent in Netherlands, up from 34 percent in 2011; 38 percent in Sweden, up from 28 percent in 2011; and 31 percent in the UK, up from 18 percent in 2010.

More than one in six Japanese consumers and just over one in five French consumers recognize the MSC debranded eco-label. In Denmark and Australia, 35 percent and 12 percent of consumers, respectively, reported awareness of the eco-label.

When asked to describe the eco-label, 14 percent of European consumers accurately described the blue eco-label as a mark for environmental/sustainable seafood, up from 8 percent in 2010. German and Dutch consumers lead the way.

Across the 10 countries surveyed, consumers reported an increasing value placed on “independent eco-labels;” 54 percent of respondents believe eco-labels are effective in “helping bringing changes to environmental/social problems” and 59 percent agree that “a product that carries an eco-label has less impact on the environment,” up from 52 percent in 2010. The research also revealed that the presence of an eco-label on products continues to make a positive impact on consumers’ perception of the host brand; 44 percent of consumers reported a higher level of trust for brands that use eco-labels, up from 40 percent in 2010.


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