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Export boom for Norwegian live shellfish

Press release   •   Jun 26, 2019 05:37 UTC

Norwegian langoustines are appearing on more and more of the world's best restaurants

The value of Norwegian shellfish exports has never been higher, and more and more of the world’s best restaurants are opening their eyes to the unique qualities of live Norwegian shellfish such as langoustines, scallops and king crab.

The list of the world’s 120 best restaurants was announced at a grand ceremony in Singapore Tuesday evening. The event gathers the superstars of the culinary world, but one of the real stars of this year’s event was Norwegian shellfish, which can be found on the menus of an impressive proportion of the restaurants on the list.

An informal survey among Norwegian shellfish exporters and their distributors, found that 1 in 4 of the restaurants on this year’s list have, or have had, Norwegian shellfish on their menus.

- This is really impressive, and is proof of the quality of Norwegian shellfish. I don’t believe there are many other origin specific foods with similar presence in this very demanding and exclusive market – perhaps with the exception of French champagne, says CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council, Renate Larsen.

Value growth for live shellfish from Norway

- We see export growth in the shellfish category, and this is to a large part due to growth in the live export of shellfish like king crab and langoustines. The demand for live Norwegian shellfish in the high end restaurant market is ever increasing, Larsen says.

In 2018, Norwegian shellfish exports hit a record 1,75 bn NOK, a 14 percent increase from 2017. Volumes have remained stable in the past decade, but the value has increased sharply in the past 5 years. Since 2013, the value of Norwegian shellfish exports have increased from 726 million to 1,75 bn NOK, representing a 142 percent growth.

The export of live Norwegian shellfish was worth 400 mill NOK in 2018, an increase of 56 percent from 2017.

- The positive trend we see in the shellfish export market is a good example of how you can work on increasing the value with the same volume. The producers and distributors in this part of the Norwegian seafood industry have been very successful in targeting the high-end restaurant market, and we are seeing the results in the export statistics, Larsen says.

Unique flavour and texture

The Norwegian Seafood Council works together with the industry to create meeting points and arenas to promote Norwegian shellfish to the high-end culinary segment. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards is one of the most important gatherings of the world’s culinary elite, and Seafood from Norway is official seafood partner for the event.

- Our experience with working towards this market is that Norwegian shellfish has a unique position among these very discerning and quality-focused customers. These are people who only choose the very best produce for their restaurants, who will not compromise on quality, and who are interested in the story behind the food on their plates. The feedback we get from chefs is that the Norwegian shellfish is unsurpassed in taste and texture, and that the professionalism and focus on quality in the production and delivery is a crucial factor for the success of the Norwegian shellfish, says project manager Synne Guldbrandsen in the Norwegian Seafood Council.

The list of the world’s 50 best restaurants is presented every year in a grand ceremony with the world’s culinary elite present. Nordic restaurants did well this year, with two Danish restaurants among the top 5. Geranium and Noma in Copenhagen ended in 5th and 2nd places respectively, and both have seafood heavy menus featuring Norwegian shellfish.

See the full list here.

The Norwegian Seafood Council works with the Norwegian fisheries and aquaculture industries to develop markets for Norwegian seafood through local market intelligence, market development and reputational risk management. The Seafood Council is headquartered in Tromsø and maintains local representatives in twelve of Norway's most important international markets. The Norwegian seafood industry finances the activities of the Norwegian Seafood Council via a tariff on all Norwegian seafood exports.

The Norwegian Seafood Council is a public company owned by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries.