Researchers from the University of Delaware recently hosted members of Delaware’s oyster industry to share results of studies about how to best market their products. Those studies showed that demand for their product is strong and consumers should be ready to pay good prices once the supply arrives. The results were reported at a Consumer Preferences for Delaware Oysters: An Economic Evaluation of Marketing Messages workshop held on Feb. 9 at the Cannon Laboratory on the Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes.
The workshop was hosted by the Center for Experimental and Applied Economics (CEAE) and sponsored by Delaware Sea Grant, housed in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE).
The results presented at the workshop were gathered over the past three years, when members from CEAE collected data at various locations throughout Delaware — such as the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal, at Ag Day in Newark, at 16-Mile Brewery in Georgetown, at Famous Joe’s Tavern in Wilmington, and at Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles — to gauge consumer preferences for local oysters.
Kent Messer, the Unidel Howard Cosgrove Chair for the Environment and director of CEAE, which is housed in the University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), said the researchers — specifically Tongzhe Li, post-doctoral researcher in CEAE, and Maik Kecinski, assistant professor at the University of Alberta — gained a number of good insights during the study and wanted to make sure the results were getting out to industry professionals.