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Sales of Lesser Known Fish Soar as UK Consumers Continue to Switch the Fish

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Sales of Lesser Known Fish Soar as UK Consumers Continue to Switch the Fish

Sales of Lesser Known Fish Soar as UK Consumers Continue to Switch the Fish
August 07
11:24 2012

Sainsbury’s has launched a major new study into fish consumption and attitudes in the UK which shows a marked shift in consumer buying habits as more and more people purchase lesser known, alternative fish which are more abundant in our oceans. Following a year of high profile awareness campaigns of sustainable fish, including Sainsbury’s own Switch the Fish initiative, a shift in fish buying habits has resulted in sales increasing across species including:

* Seabass +57%

* Fresh Pollack +15%

* Trout +29%

* Tilapia +117%.

The Our future with fish report, commissioned by Sainsbury’s and produced by the Future Foundation, predicts that this trend is set to continue as consumers make more informed and sustainable choices around the fish they eat. By 2030 over half (52%) of all fish products sold will be outside of the UK’s most popular Big 5 species (cod, haddock, tuna, salmon and prawns).

The report also reveals that the population will be eating more fish, with UK adults set to eat twelve extra fish meals a year by 2030 increasing their weekly consumption by 17% (from under 8 million kilograms today to 9.23 million kilograms by 2030). The so-called tradition Fish Friday is set to continue as meals have increased by 4.4% since 2008 and are predicted to rise from one-in-five today (21%) to one-in-four (25%) in the next ten years.

The Our future with fish report found that one of the primary drivers for increasing UK fish consumption is personal well-being, with 51% 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 current fish consumption levels in the UK, these include a lack of recipe knowledge (35%), lack of availability of fresh fish in local shops (28%) and lack of time to prepare fish from scratch (28%).

Ally Dingwall, Sainsbury’s aquaculture and fisheries manager, says: “We want to encourage more consumers to vary the fish and seafood in their diet which is why we commissioned the Our future with fish  report to build on our existing knowledge, to better understand why our customers have the current preferences they do and to look ahead at the future of fish being eaten in the UK. At Sainsbury’s we recognise the important role retailers have to play to continue the debate and interest in sustainable, alternative fish choices. That is why we invest in campaigns such as Switch the Fish which help our customers make informed choices about the fish they buy and attempt to break down the key barriers that prevent consumers eating fish regularly.”

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