Consumers of seafood in the United Kingdom are currently facing a dilemma. The recession, which has been around since mid 2008 has severely dented consumer spending power to purchase higher priced food items such as fish and other seafoods. Yet at the same time heavy marketing has been underway to stress that all fish and crustaceans sold in the United Kingdom have been caught ethically, enabling customers to purchase with a clear conscience. For example, organisations such as The Fair Trade Foundation have agreed to industry standards in order to certify seafood. Producers and retailers that adhere to these standards can put a fair trade mark on their seafood.
This tactic seems to have worked during 2011, with the United Kingdom seafood market seeing rising growth during the year, and volume sales of crustaceans growing by 1% to 64,000 tonnes. Fish and seafood producers also had to contend with a by-product of the recession, with some customers swapping fresh fish for frozen fish in order to save money.
The United Kingdom seafood consumer is also noted to have begun trying different species of fish, such as Pollock, pangasius baser and tilapia. Although these varieties have not yet penetrated the top 10 fish and seafood species consumed, they did record strong growth during 2011.
The frozen fish industry is expected to continue to compete with fresh fish and seafood between 2011 and 2016, especially if the United Kingdom economy continues to dip between recession and stagnation for the foreseeable future. Frozen fish companies are increasingly looking for innovative ways to market their products, and push the ethical label. For example, Young's Seafood has released a range of products which are endorsed by Jamie Oliver, a chef associated with healthy, fresh food.
For more information on the United Kingdom seafood market, see the latest research: United Kingdom Seafood Market
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