Scottish seafood sales get Japanese retail boost

Published on
March 30, 2018

Scotland’s seafood economy is anticipating that a special promotion campaign currently running with the Japanese supermarket chain AEON will lead to a significant increase in sales in the country’s retail channel. 

Japan’s leading retailer is using Scottish Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified mackerel as part of its own-label offering and has arranged Scottish-themed tasting promotions at 90 of its stores, covering key consumer regions in the market. The promotion will also showcase other seafood species from Scotland, including brown crab and whole langoustines.

According to trade body Seafood Scotland, this promotion is the first time that AEON has expanded its range beyond mackerel to include Scottish shellfish species that “have a proven attraction within the Japanese market.”  It added that the products have been developed and selected specifically to suit consumers’ flavor preferences. 

“Scottish mackerel is a big success story in Japan, thanks to a strong focus on improved supply and visibility over the past few years,” said Natalie Bell, trade marketing manager for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Asia) at Seafood Scotland. “The Japanese market appreciates the Scottish provenance and values highly our cool, clear waters, our clean environment and our industry’s commitment to sustainability.  

“Through AEON we can continue this great story, using the success of mackerel as a foundation to develop new flavors, and indeed, to introduce other Scottish seafood species to AEON’s customers – delivering a further boost to Scotland’s growing export relationship with Japan.”

Scottish seafood exports to Japan increased by 46 percent between 2015 and 2016, from GBP 3.7 million (USD 5.2 million, EUR 4.2 million) to GBP 5.4 million (USD 7.6 million, EUR 6.2 million).

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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