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New Shopper Research Reveals Big Potential for Natural, Smoked Seafood Products

15 October 2015, at 1:00am

UK - New shopper market research has revealed the big potential for natural and smoked seafood products. These findings provide the seafood industry with ways to reach consumers through product development and education.

The research on shopper insight has provided a unique insight in to the minds of consumers when purchasing seafood, revealing the species, products and offers that could drive sales of seafood over the next few years.

The research by Kantar Worldwide estimated that through optimal shopper targeting, over £38m could be added to the seafood category, conservatively based on 10 per cent of shoppers making one additional purchase per year.

The seafood segments with the largest potential are chilled natural (£7.2m), frozen natural (£5.4m) and smoked (£4.7m) with businesses encouraged to provide more recipe and meal inspiration to shoppers to encourage purchase. Prawns were identified as a key species, in both chilled and frozen formats, where the seafood industry could make big gains.

Other important findings included the fact that consumers are putting increasing importance on quality, with 21 per cent ranking it as important, up from 16 per cent in 2013, and that is expected to increase further this year. The frozen category was identified as an area where businesses could improve education about the perceived quality of frozen seafood as well as pitching it to families as ‘freezer essentials’.

The research was commissioned by Seafish, the industry authority on seafood, to drive a greater understanding of the seafood shopper and consumer behaviour. Seven touch points were used to capture the shopper journey from planning through to consumption by category and key fish species with a focus on the chilled and frozen sectors.

The research was unveiled at a special event in Grimsby for the seafood industry, as part of Seafood Week which runs from 9 to 16 October. As well as the retailer research, businesses heard presentations from NDP Crest on the performance and opportunities for seafood in the food service sector, which is seeing a slight recovery.

Seafish also unveiled their consumer segmentation work, which has been undertaken with Experian Mosaic, and plays a fundamental role in Seafish’s consumer marketing work to fulfil the organisations’ underlining objective to get more people eating more fish more often.

The six segments range from Fabulous Fish who are affluent consumers all the way to Fish Finger Families and Frugal Frozen. This insight now drives all Seafish consumption work building on the successful omega-3 and Seafood Week campaigns.

Mel Groundsell, corporate relations director at Seafish, said: “The huge variety of seafood species and products available for sale through retail and food service means it can often be complicated for the seafood industry to come up with a ‘one size fits all’ strategy for increasing sales. There is often conflicting information out there telling us what makes consumers tick or whether the popularity of seafood is going up or down.

“This suite of research aims to reduce some of the confusion around what consumers want and provide businesses with more insight to allow them to develop informed seafood sales strategies and encourage innovative product development. The ultimate goal is to increase seafood consumption across the board by making it easier for industry to understand how we can collectively drive purchase and consumption.”

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