Competition in both local and international markets for the food business requires the development of differentiated products in order to meet the demand of more quality-stringent, health-conscious, and attribute-oriented consumers. The objective of this study is to evaluate consumers' preferences for value-added fish products in Oman and identify the most important attributes that are preferred by consumers. Such information is of value to the fish processing companies that are looking for profitable business opportunities in local or international niche markets. The study uses a conjoint analysis method to estimate consumer total utility for value-added fish products on the basis of four attributes: form of the product, package size, method of cooking and price. A sample of 200 consumers is selected in 4 major supermarkets in the Muscat region to conduct the conjoint experiment. Results of the conjoint analysis show that the most important attribute in the purchasing decision of the average consumer is the cooking method, which contributes 79.21% to the average overall preference, whereas the least important attribute is the price, contributing only 0.34% to overall preference. The most preferred product is a finger or nugget fish form formulated for frying and packed in a small package, whereas the least preferred products consist of the burger form formulated for microwaving and packed in large or medium packages. Segmentation of the fish value-added market according to nationality showed that there is no significant difference between Omani and non-Omani preference structure.
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