Norwegian Seafood Council: Fish still fits for UK consumers facing soaring costs

Victoria Braathen.

The United Kingdom’s seafood market has endured numerous difficulties in recent years. A recent whitepaper titled “Building Seafood Consumer Confidence to Boost Consumption,” compiled by the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC), addresses some of the problems by proposing a public educational campaign to improve public confidence in buying seafood products. In an interview with SeafoodSource, NSC U.K. Director Victoria Braathen discussed how NSC is working to lift barriers that have recently hindered purchasing, particularly in retail channels.

SeafoodSource: NSC’s whitepaper notes that U.K. consumer budgets are under heavy pressure. Amid this, are there any opportunities to grow consumption and sales?

Braathen: We currently see an element of trading down from and sometimes out of the category as consumers look to save where they can. Long term, we believe there is opportunity to grow [the] consumption of seafood in the U.K. Looking at the bigger picture, seafood is well-aligned to consumer megatrends; It is the perfect fit for consumers wanting healthy, sustainable, and delicious meal options. What is needed, both to retain and grow the category, is greater guidance and inspiration to build consumer confidence. This represents a shared opportunity for the seafood industry.

SeafoodSource: How has Norwegian seafood been faring in the U.K. market in 2023?

Braathen: Norway is a proud supplier of seafood to British consumers. Key species exported from Norway to the U.K. include salmon, cod, haddock, and coldwater prawns. Looking at trade [year-to-date], Norway has exported 61,101 metric tons [MT] of seafood to the U.K. worth GBP 322 million [USD 413 million, EUR 376 million]. This a value growth of 2 percent and a volume decrease of 6 percent. An increasing share of Norwegian frozen cod is exported to the U.K., and cod has seen a significant volume growth. Haddock trade is ... 

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