This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Conjoint Analysis of Breaded Catfish Nuggets: Consumer Preferences for Price, Product Color, Cooking Method, and Country of Origin




Hill, Jessica

Type of Degree



Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology


The catfish nugget is the residual product that results when the belly flap is cut away the fillet to produce the shank fillet. Nuggets are a lower-valued portion of the catfish because of their high fat content, higher potential for an off-flavor, and the black membrane covering one side of the nugget. A new product, marinated, breaded catfish nuggets, was developed to ameliorate these negative attributes. This conjoint study was designed to evaluate consumers’ preferences for four attributes of catfish nuggets: price ($1.49/lb., $4.59/lb., and $7.49/lb.); color of breading (light, medium, and dark); country of origin (U.S. and China); and cooking method (oven baked and deep fried). An in-store survey was conducted in grocery stores in eight cities in three states: Alabama, Georgia, and Florida that included using a 7-point intention-to-buy scale. Participants evaluated 12 different photographs of catfish nuggets that included information about various levels of the attributes. 614 usable surveys were collected. The data was analyzed to determine individual preferences using conjoint analysis. Cluster analysis, based on similar preferences, was used to group respondents into the following three segments: the price sensitive segment preferring the low price, country of origin being U.S. as preferred country, and color of breading being dark as the preferred color. A multinomial logit model was used to identify significant demographic variables that influenced membership in the segments. These included age, ethnicity, and education.