Sponsored by MOWI
Health and safety have become more important than ever to consumers, and that’s especially true for shoppers in the fresh seafood department.
“Food safety took the headlines in 2020, and will continue to matter in 2021,” says Anne-Marie Roerink, founder and principal at research firm 210 Analytics.
Her research reveals that 54% of consumers expect to continue to place increased focus on their health and well-being, even after COVID-19 becomes less of a concern. Seafood offers a “health halo” that can be a key to driving sales in the category in the year ahead, she says.
“Seafood fits in well with big protein-focused diets, such as Keto and Paleo,” says Roerink. “It has the opportunity to rise above its general health halo by highlighting important nutrients specifically.”
Seafood sales soar in 2020
Retail sales of seafood have risen in double digits during the pandemic, with fresh seafood up 24.5% in the 52 weeks ended Dec. 27, 2020, to $6.7 billion, according to a recent presentation for the National Fisheries Institute by 210 Analytics and IRI (Information Resources Inc.) More than half of households (50.7%) purchased fresh seafood in 2020, the report found.
Salmon is the top-selling fresh seafood variety, with sales of $2.2 billion, up 19.2% in 2020, compared with a year earlier.
“Seafood has seen a tremendous pandemic boost,” says Roerink. “In years past, the majority of seafood dollars were spent at restaurants, but the pandemic has prompted shoppers to experiment more with seafood at home, and that will benefit the category for years, if not generations, to come.
“Taking advantage of more adventurous consumers who are willing to try and make seafood at home is one of the biggest sales opportunities in 2021,” she says.
Premiumization of seafood
This is contributing to the “premiumization” of the category, Roerink explains, as consumers prepare more sophisticated dishes at home in an effort to replicate the types of meals they have experienced in restaurants.
“Consumers are recreating date night, anniversaries and other special celebrations at home,” she says.
The same goes for holiday occasions, where seafood can help play a role as consumers scale back on the size of their celebrations, and may be open to serving seafood rather than a traditional holiday roast, Roerink adds.
Value, convenience and sustainability
The increased desire for premium products for special occasions and to recreate restaurant-style meals doesn’t mean consumers are shunning value, however. With the economy on a shaky path to recovery, retailers must ensure that they are meeting the needs of their value-oriented customers as well.
Convenience also remains an important driver in the seafood category. Value-added retail offerings that help consumers prepare and cook seafood products—such as marinades and other cooking aids, including recipes—make it easier for consumers to select seafood for at-home consumption.
Consumers have not lost their focus on sustainability, either. Sustainability has been a key attribute for supermarket seafood and meat offerings for some time, and younger shoppers in particular take that issue seriously, Roerink points out.
“This means sustainability is only getting more important as food dollars are shifting from baby boomers to Millennials,” she says.
Products that meet consumer demands
Mowi, a Norwegian seafood company with over 50 years of experience in the industry, launched in 2020 its salmon brand, MOWI. This brand is all about salmon. While Mowi (as a company) offers product with the highest certifications, the MOWI brand offers Atlantic salmon certified by the Aquaculture Seafood Council (ASC) that satisfy this diverse spectrum of consumer demands. This certification means that the product has met the ASC’s Global Standard for responsibly farmed seafood. (Learn more at www.ASC-AQUA.ORG).
Its prepackaged products provide consumers with added confidence concerning product safety. The skin-packed items also make for an attractive visual presentation, and include the origin of the product and the date it was packaged—an advantage over loose, random-weight seafood—or catch weight is often in the line depending on the retailers’ preference.
Available in two product lines, MOWI also offers seafood products that appeal to both everyday consumers, the MOWI Essential™ , and those seeking higher-end items, perhaps for special occasions or to recreate the meals they have enjoyed at restaurants, the MOWI Gourmet™.
The Norwegian company’s MOWI Essential™ line features farmed-raised salmon from different parts of the world, produced with high standards and offered in everyday cuts. Included in the Essential line is the 12 oz. Portion on Cedar Plank, a value-added product that’s ready for the grill. Also available are the 30 oz. Side, perfect for big family meals, and the pack of 2 Portions of 6 oz. each that meets consumer demands for convenience and value, and much more. Check the entire range at https://mowisalmon.us/
The MOWI Gourmet™ line, meanwhile, offers more indulgent, bistro-style cuts featuring products such as the Saku, the Royal Portion and the Baron Loin.
Visit the MOWI Brand product website to learn more about how your seafood department can drive sales with fresh, prepackaged salmon from this Mowi brand.