06 August 2012 10:37
Sainsbury's has launched a new study into fish consumption and attitudes in the UK which shows a marked shift in consumer buying habits as more shoppers purchase lesser known, sustainable fish.
The supermarket said there had been a shift in fish buying habits with sales increasing across species including seabass (up 57%), pollack (up 15%), trout (up 29%) and tilapia (up 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. It predicts that by 2030, 52% of all fish products sold will be outside of the UK's most popular species of fish, such as cod, haddock, tuna, salmon and prawns.
The report also reveals that the population will be eating more fish, with UK adults set to eat 12 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 of 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 to one in four in the next 10 years.
The report found that one of the primary drivers for increasing UK fish consumption is personal wellbeing, 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 said: "It is great to see more people broadening their minds and appetites by buying and cooking currently less familiar seafood. Doing so will help ensure we have sustainable supplies of this healthy, low-fat protein to eat in the future.
"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."