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Fish and seafood consumption: The norm with potential for growth

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The fish market has remained steady, despite logistical constraints over the past couple of years. Fish and seafood product suppliers have been among the primary beneficiaries of consumers’ interest in eating healthier foods in 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic has driven consumers’ yearning to eat health maintaining foods, so they are buying and cooking more fish and seafood to eat at home.

Fish and seafood subcategory accounts for a stable quarter share of the total meat, fish and eggs category launches tracked over the last 4 years with regards to sales.

Fish and seafood subcategory accounts for a stable quarter share of the total meat, fish and eggs category launches tracked over the last 4 years with regards to sales.

Sustainability as a factor behind fish and seafood consumption

Traceability of fish and seafood origins is becoming more important for consumers, as it is with most of the produce they choose. Consumers will increasingly choose options based on the traceability and environmental impact of their fish and seafood. We are likely to see more people buying fish than in previous years, paying a premium price for freshness, quality, and traceability credentials. These days, sustainability is less of a trend and more of a mindset where an overall sustainable approach to life is becoming the new normal. For many consumers this means a shift towards low impact or local businesses as well as brands and producers, that align with the individual values such as ‘less food waste’, ‘reduced carbon-footprint’, ‘recyclable packaging’ or ‘sustainable fisheries. The demand for wild-caught seafood has steadily increased as well. In 2021, consumers favor seafood obtained from the wild versus farm-raised options. Essentia fish and seafood ingredients are MSC certified and obtained from wild catch and so are clean label and preservative free.

“Fin-to-gill” eating

The nose-to-tail eating movement that encourages diners to embrace unpopular cuts of meat and offal, has slowly gained traction over the last 15 or so years. Recently, the concept has moved further, with fin-to-gill dining. It would be easy to dismiss this trend as a fad, but with concerns over sustainability on the rise, and a staggering 43% of each fish discarded each year, fin-to-gill dining could eventually change our eating habits for the better. This no-waste style of preparation will hopefully cut down on waste and needless fishing.

Other influences in the fish and seafood market

Health and nutrition

Fish and seafoods are low-fat options for protein that provide a range of health benefits. White-fleshed fish is lower in fat than any other source of animal protein and provides "good fats”. Foods that improve physical and mental health show the most potential for growth in the coming years. Seafood’s strong association to omega-3s in consumers’ minds is a big potential promotion aspect.

Regardless of region, fish and seafood consumption sits well within the attributes consumers prefer in their food as shown in the table below.

Accessibility and economy

Frozen meals make fish and seafood readily available with minimal concerns over waste of this desirable yet highly perishable food. Canned foods and ready meals are also easily accessed in most parts of the world and are a convenient way of obtaining the commodity. It allows for flexibility in purchase and use for the convenience of the consumer. Fish and seafood has also gained popularity in the food to-go businesses where restaurants and fast-food businesses have seen a rise in consumer demand. Canned and frozen fish-based foods are an affordable nonperishable option due to fewer risks to lost inventory as with fresh produce. It is a major consideration for consumers as the world goes through the ever-changing economy.

At the same time, the growing assortment of higher-end premade meals offers more variety and enables busy consumers to provide quick, delicious and nutritious food via tasty ready meals and soups, or the use of stocks, fonds, and bouillons.

Essentia protein solutions provides clean ingredients which are obtained from wild catch, nutritious, and in line with fin-to-gill eating. There is no waste as every part of the unused remnants are utilized to bring natural ingredients that enhance the taste, texture and aroma of several fish and seafood-based meals. Using the ProBaseTM fish range in different kinds of ready to eat fish dishes, soups, bouillons or in fish and seafood-based sauces will enhance the consumers experience regarding the final application as indulgent and premium. 

The merging of contemporary trends

Meat eating consumers have always been partial to fish and seafood whether they are looking for variety, nutritional balance, or elegant flair in their dining, which is why it continues to gain popularity. That said, there are several new terms coming to light with the numerous varieties of dietary restrictions, and one of them is seaganism. This is a primarily vegan diet which is supplemented with sustainably sourced fish, shellfish, and other seafood-based foods. It differs from pescatarianism very slightly – as it also utilizes the nutritional benefits of obtaining much needed nutrients that are not available in vegetable products.

Part of Essentia’s vision is to utilize sustainable ingredients that are well known and understood by consumers. They are clean and offer the most natural enhancement to fish and seafood-based dishes. The entire carcass is used, depending on the species that includes the head, bones, fins, or shells. The seafood raw materials are obtained from wild catch which guarantees sustainability for the future of fishing.

We continually strive to meet the demands of mindful consumers and offer ingredients with the best quality and organoleptic benefits. This is to maintain the highest levels of trust throughout the supply chain.

Our experts are eager for the opportunity to co-create with yours, for the advancement of your brand. Kindly contact us for more information on how this can become a reality.

 

Inspired to find out more?

Find more inspiration in our ingredients and applications or read related trend stories about fish.

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