Popularity of shrimp in UK only climbing


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
April 22, 2010

Sales of warmwater shrimp in the United Kingdom are up 14 percent in the past year, Seafish reported on Thursday.

Brits consumed 15,400 metric tons of warmwater shrimp valued at GBP 190 million (USD 292 million, EUR 219 million) in the past year, and Seafish attributed the growth to the idea that consumers no longer view shrimp as a luxury item to enjoy only on special occasions. Shrimp is increasingly being used as a healthy alternative to beef in dishes such as curries, stir fries and pasta, according to Seafish.

“There is no doubting the appeal of these larger prawn species to the UK consumer. Warmwater prawns have always been seen as exotic and exciting due to their use in spicy and heavily flavored dishes,” said Karen Galloway, market insight manager at Seafish.

“Retailers and suppliers have been encouraging consumers to buy them more frequently by ensuring that they are promoted on a regular basis,” she added. “As a result, we have become used to including them in our diet and sales continue to grow.”

Seafish also pointed to new research by the University of Surrey that showed eating prawns has no effect on blood cholesterol levels. The research was organized by the Shellfish Association of Great Britain (SAGB) to dispel the myth that shellfish consumption raises levels of bad cholesterol.

“We welcome this new research. However, many health care professionals continue to advise patients with high blood cholesterol to cut back on prawns,” said SAGB Director Dr. Tom Pickerell. “Prawns are low in saturated fat, lower in calories than chicken and a rich source of omega-3 oils, and along with other shellfish should form part of a healthy diet.”

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