Analysis of a niche market for farm-raised black sea bass Centropristis striata in North Carolina

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James D. Wilde (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site:
Thomas M. Losordo

Abstract: A demand analysis for farm-raised black sea bass (BSB) was conducted in the upscale niche restaurant market of North Carolina (NC) via field sample surveys of restaurants drawn at random from the population of all NC restaurants. The analysis determines the effects of niche market variables on BSB quantity demanded at the individual restaurant level. Sample results were extrapolated to the full population of NC restaurants to estimate statewide niche market demand for farm-raised BSB. Results indicate that 15.9 percent of sampled restaurants meet the predetermined niche market criteria, producing a statewide NC niche market size estimate of 3,279 restaurants. Most (88 percent) surveyed restaurants serve a suburban rather than tourist or urban/professional clientele. Surveyed niche market restaurant chefs prefer fresh, chilled fish products (88 percent) of moderate fat content (41 percent). Beyond taste and appearance product attributes, chefs identified freshness, continuous availability, and fish size as most important. Few (7 percent) niche market restaurants currently purchase BSB, but most (76 percent) reported that they would purchase farm-raised BSB similar to those evaluated in the survey if they were available for a price similar to the price of substitute species like grouper. Some (14 percent) reported problems with ocean-caught BSB availability. A majority (66 percent) had no preference for ocean-caught over farm-raised BSB products. Regression analyses showed that higher prices for substitute species and higher dinner entrée prices have positive effects on BSB purchases, resulting in greater BSB demand. Higher BSB prices have a negative effect on BSB demand. The only significant effect of season was moderately lower demand in winter. Effects of geographical location were not significant. For a likely example scenario, estimated NC statewide BSB niche market demand was 179,077 kg (394,798 lb) per year. A potential industry limitation is NC chefs' preference for whole weight fish products exceeding 908 g (2.0 lb).

Additional Information

A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science
Language: English
Date: 2009
Aquaculture industry--North Carolina , Fish culture--North Carolina, Fishery products--North Carolina--Marketing, Striped bass--North Carolina--Marketing
Fish culture -- North Carolina
Fishery products -- North Carolina -- Marketing
Striped bass -- North Carolina -- Marketing
Aquaculture industry -- North Carolina

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