Scottish salmon hits a milestone


Lindsey Partos, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Paris

Published on
February 21, 2010

Building on double-digit growth in 2009, Label Rouge Scottish Salmon will further target European consumers with a new marketing campaign.

Sales for Label Rouge Scottish Salmon soared 19 percent last year, rising from 6,099 metric tons in 2008 to 7,251 metric tons in 2009.

“It is an ideal time to launch a fresh campaign that can reach out to discerning chefs and consumers in France and beyond,” said First Minister Alex Salmond, kicking-off the campaign in Paris earlier this month, with Scott Landsburgh, CEO of Scottish Quality Salmon (SQS), and the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organization.

Salmon is big business for Scotland and represents about 40 percent of total food exports, making it Scotland’s No. 1 food export. Farmed Scottish salmon has a global retail value of over GBP 1 billion.

In 1992, Scottish salmon became the first non-French food to receive the Label Rouge insignia, conferred by France’s ministry of agriculture on quality, and fully traceable, products. Sales of Label Rouge Scottish Salmon recently hit the 20-million-fish milestone.

Funding from the Scottish government contributed to the Label Rouge Scottish salmon making inroads into Europe, notably through a European Fisheries Fund (EFF) grant. Last April, Scotland’s government awarded the SQS salmon an EFF grant to promote Label Rouge to consumers, wholesalers, retailers and foodservice operators in France.

In addition, the grant is also set to support the launch of Label Rouge salmon to new markets in other key European countries, such as Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands, between 2009 and 2011.

“Support from the Scottish government and confidence in Label Rouge status have been key factors in this success. Consumers, fishmongers, wholesalers and the most highly starred group of culinary experts in France clearly understand that Label Rouge Scottish Salmon is top of the range,” said Landsburgh.

Reaching out to consumers in France, the salmon marketing campaign includes a Web site,, to support a series of seasonal promotions targeting the seafood trade and consumer markets.

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