Following the June 28th University of Minnesota news release regarding Gulf seafood safety, The Food Industry Center has received several requests for interviews and further information. Data from the press release was quoted in a New York Times article, published July 13th, and was featured in news stories on both radio and television as well as internet news sites.
The key point of interest has been with respect to the proportion of people who say the Gulf Oil Spill will affect their seafood eating habits. The press release quoted that 54% of consumers surveyed said that the Gulf Oil Spill would affect their seafood eating habits in some way - and of those people, 44% (note this is a percent of the 54%) said that they would avoid seafood from the Gulf, and another 31% said they would eat less seafood regardless of where it comes from.
Looking at the weekly trends from the study, it is also apparent that consumer concern is increasing. In the first three weeks of the oil spill (interviews conducted from May 11th - 25th), 46% of those interviewed said they were "Extremely Concerned" about the risk the oil spill poses to the safety of seafood from the Gulf, rising to 54% in the next 3 weeks (June 1st - 15th).
Implications voiced by some of those of those contacting The Food Industry Center included concerns about how this event may impact food service/restaurant sales of seafood, and impact healthful eating behavior where seafood consumption is encouraged. The Food Industry Center will continue to track the event as it unfolds, and would be highly receptive to expanding the study if fund options presented themselves. Those interested should contact Dennis Degeneffe at (612) 624-4746.