French scallop appetite soars
Sales of crustaceans, cephalopods and shellfish fell by 3 percent from January to July this year, but scallops bucked the trend, with French consumers buying twice as many as the previous year.
"Promotions and a 10 percent fall in price are certainly not strangers to the boost in consumption," said French national agriculture and fisheries body FranceAgriMer, adding that a rise in imports from the U.K. and the United States also played a role in the consumption rise.
FranceAgriMer officials commented that the seasonal marketing of French scallops that kicks off this week in France, should "find its place on the market, promoting their qualities in order to defend their price."
And despite falling figures for frozen fish, French consumers are buying more fresh fish this year than in 2008.
According to FranceAgriMer, fresh fish consumption rose by 2.4 percent in the first seven months of the year, compared to the same period in 2008.
While salmon retains its position as the No. 1 fresh fish purchase, cod saw the strongest growth, making a strong impact on the market.
"In second position, cod is more present on the fish stalls, with a rise in imports and catches at the beginning of the year," said FranceAgriMer.
By contrast, pangasius and perch are less apparent on the market, due to a fall in French imports.
The frozen fish market also shows signs of a challenging market and consumer reticence, with prices rising by 3 percent for the first seven months of the year, compared to the same period in 2008.
In a bid to breathe fresh air into coastal products and seasonal fish, FranceAgriMer will launch a radio campaign at the end of October to target species identified for promotion by the fishing industry. The agency has compiled a series of seasonal fish recipes that will be available at fishmongers and retailers.