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Festive Boost for Scottish Mussel Farmers

Economics +1 more

SCOTLAND, UK - Scottish mussel growers are preparing for a bumper Christmas with sales predicted to soar as consumers prepare for the Festive period.

Lucy Towers thumbnail

Last year, the volume sold by the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group (SSMG) rocketed by about 25 per cent in the two weeks prior to Christmas compared with normal sales levels, making it one of the busiest times of the year for Scottish mussel farmers.

According to Stephen Cameron, managing director of SSMG, one major factor behind the sales growth is the new product innovation spearheaded by SSMG in recent years that has led to the creation of a number of ready-to-cook mussel recipe dishes that are now widely available in supermarkets.

There is no doubt that consumers are attracted by the versatility of mussels in the kitchen and the simplicity involved in their cooking, said Stephen Cameron. Kids also love mussels, which makes them a great family treat at Christmas.

We have invested heavily in recent years in developing new ready meal mussel dishes such as Green Thai and Coconut Curry, Mussels with Tomatoes and Chorizo, and a Mussel and Clam Bisque.

Consumers are definitely becoming more adventurous in their tastes as they look for exciting alternatives to traditional Christmas fare.

Cameron believes that consumers are also attracted by the sustainability credentials of Scottish rope-grown mussels. The young mussels, or spat as they are known, settle naturally on ropes suspended in the sea and feed on sea plankton found in the rich tidal flows around the west coast of Scotland and Shetland. SSMG mussels are independently certified by both the Marine Stewardship Council and the Friend of the Sea for the environmentally-friendly manner in which they are grown.