Sainsbury’s: UK fish consumption on the rise

Sainsbury’s has released a new report demonstrating fish consumption and attitudes in the United Kingdom, and the study shows a market shift in consumer buying habits as more and more people purchase lesser-known, alternative fish species.

The “Our Future With Fish” report shows that sales of lesser-known fish species including pollock, sea bass, coley and tilapia are up as much as 117 percent year-over-year.

In addition, the study predicts that more than half of all fish sold in the U.K. will be outside the “Big 5” — cod, haddock, tuna, salmon and prawns — by 2030.

The report also shows that the population will be eating more fish, with U.K. adults set to eat 12 extra fish meals a year by 2030, increasing their weekly consumption by 17 percent, from 8 million kilograms today to 9.23 million kilograms.

The report, commissioned by Sainsbury’s and produced by the Future Foundation, found that one of the primary drivers for increasing U.K. fish consumption is personal well-being, with 51 percent of people stating that health concerns have encouraged them to eat more fish over the last year. However, the report also identified some of the key barriers to fish consumption levels in the U.K., including a lack of recipe knowledge, lack of availability of fresh fish locally and lack of time to prepare fish from scratch.

“There is still important work to do in Europe to mend the broken Common Fisheries Policy, which has contributed to the depleted state of our fish stocks. Fixing it means we will have a secure supply of fish as a healthy food source, without destroying fish stocks and damaging the marine environment,” said Richard Benyon, minister for the natural environment and fisheries. “It’s great to see Sainsbury’s encouraging shoppers to adjust their individual behaviors and broaden their tastes away from the main five species of fish, which are under such environmental pressure. Fish like dab and coley are just as delicious as some of the more well-known species.”


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