A Scottish salmon processor. One in two grocery shoppers bought fresh salmon at least once last year. (Photo: Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation)
Salmon consumption continues to soar
Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
Over 1.1 million new domestic consumers have purchased fresh salmon over the last two years as persistent demand for the fish continues to grow.
The number of people who have consumed fresh salmon has risen from 5 million in 2008 to 6.1 million this year (between February 2008 and February 2010) -- a 22 per cent jump. During the same period, consumption in the UK has risen to 224 million meal occasions, according to new figures from Kantar Worldpanel.
Further, one in two, or 48 per cent of, grocery shoppers bought fresh salmon at least once last year. Fresh salmon now constitutes more than GBP 1 (EUR 1.20) in every GBP 5 (EUR 6.02) spent on fish in the UK, the leading market researchers report.
Concurrently, the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO) has just released its Annual Report, which emphasises the industry’s input to the social, economic and environmental sustainability of Scotland.
Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of SSPO, said that while the UK remains the industry’s strongest market, history shows that seafood consumption is much higher in numerous other countries. However, fresh salmon is enjoying increasing popularity in the region.
“We estimate that the demand for salmon is such that we could supply twice as much as is currently produced. With consumption continuing to increase and a massive global undersupply, we remain confident about future demand,” he added.
Strategic Insight Director of Kantar Worldpanel Mark Thomson said the boost in salmon consumption is attributable to more people eating together at home as a result of the recession, a trend which corresponds with the increase of salmon consumption among both children and adults.
“Although salmon is most likely to be consumed for its health credentials, it is now making more of a splash as a ‘favourite’ meal ingredient,” he commented.
As a consequence of the climb in salmon consumption, an undersupply of 190,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon for this year has been forecast by experts from the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP). This amount equals one and half times the size of the Scottish salmon industry.
Since 2003, salmon production in Scotland has been stagnant. To meet mounting demand and counteract the forecasted shortfall in the global market, the industry plans to achieve a growth of between 3-5 per cent over the next five years.
Several types of businesses are profiting from the rising consumption of salmon.
The industry contributes over GBP 197 million (EUR 237 million) annually into Scottish businesses. In 2006, the country exported more than 12 million salmon to 60 countries.
Scotland is the world’s third largest salmon producer, with approximately a 10 per cent global market share. While in 1980 just 9 per cent of the fish consumed by people was farmed, it is now 43 per cent.
The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reports that aquaculture is the sole way to meet the world’s surging demand for seafood.
- Lighthouse Caledonia triples harvest volume
- Scottish salmon reaches record sales
By Natalia Real