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Rapid Response to Seafood Supply Chain Vulnerabilities by Assessing Direct Marketing Options in South Carolina

Pravin Nath, Danny Weathers, Scott D. Swain, Michael Giebelhausen, Austin Minkowski, Eric Hair, and Rod McCants—Clemson University
Matt Gorstein and Graham Gaines—S.C. Sea Grant Consortium

About this Project

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has created an impetus among various industries to consider alternatives to their existing avenues of sales. For the mariculture industry, the impact of COVID-19 has been particularly severe given their reliance on tourism and restaurants. This emphasized a need to explore other avenues of selling mariculture seafood products (e.g., oysters, clams) beyond the typical restaurant supply chain. This project is investigating consumer preferences for at-home seafood consumption in order to identify and assess potential marketing opportunities for the South Carolina mariculture industry, with a focus on selling seafood products direct-to-consumer.

Through three phases, the research team is 1) ascertaining the motivations, concerns, and expectations of the shellfish farmer in South Carolina through key informant interviews; 2) measuring the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of consumers in and around South Carolina through consumer surveys; and 3) determining consumer preferences and willingness to pay for specific offerings of South Carolina seafood products.

Plate of oysters.

Photo by Grace Beahm Alford.