In line with the Sustainable Transformation of Egypt’s Aquaculture Market System (STREAMS) project goals, the Consumer Market Research and Product Development workshop aimed to discover chefs’ preferences and influencing factors when buying seafood and raise awareness of the range of tilapia products available.
Through this research the two organisations hope to increase and diversify the use of farmed tilapia in both catering and restaurants.
Egypt is the world’s second largest producer of tilapia, with tilapia production providing one fish per week for each of its 90 million people.
Participants at the workshop tasted and gave feedback on new products such as small fish and fillets: two products rarely found in Egyptian restaurants but widely consumed in America and Europe.
This method, based on sensory science research approaches refined by the Oregon State University’s Food Innovation Center, provides an accurate way to gather rich consumer acceptance and purchasing data that can be replicated in other geographies for various fish species.
WorldFish hosted the event in collaboration with the Egyptian Chefs Association (ECA), a non-profit organization representing 1000 professional chefs in Egypt, and a national authority and opinion leader on food. Other highlights of the workshop, held at the WorldFish Aquaculture Research Center in Abbassa, Sharkeya, included field visits to Nile tilapia aquaculture farms, a cooking demonstration by chef Markus Iten, and an educational session on Egyptian aquaculture.
Malcolm Dickson, Egypt Country Program Manager, WorldFish: “Farmed tilapia is affordable, tasty and environmentally-friendly, and a healthy source of protein, nutrients and essential fatty acids. By encouraging chefs to use more farmed tilapia in their restaurants, they will contribute to improved food and nutrition security in Egypt, where around 17 per cent suffer from food shortages throughout the year.