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Sushi: The Catch of the Day

by Ellen Hardy
18 September 2008, at 1:00am

UK - New research released today by Seafish, the authority on seafood, reveals that sushi is now an established lunchtime favourite. Sales of sushi are up 21% year on year, with the total UK sushi market now worth 38.9 million per annum.


Sushi for lunch?
Photo: Seafish

Only a few years ago sushi was considered a luxury and as such could only be found in specialist stores and restaurants.

Sales at supermarket Waitrose have increased as much as 88% in recent years, with a good helping of sushi proving as popular with office workers as lunchtime staples such as sandwiches and salads. Waitrose is furthering its commitment to sustainable fish by becoming the first major retailer to stock Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified sushi.

Andy Gray, Marketing Manager at Seafish, said: "Sushi has been doing extremely well as a newcomer to the lunch menu and has become a mainstream item - albeit one with an 'exclusive' quality.

"Our research shows that people are buying sushi for its aspirational values its seen as exotic, healthy and trendy. It is mostly young people aged between 16-22 that dominate the market but there is emerging growth in the older age categories as well.

Waitrose Sushi Buyer, David Stone, adds: With its low calorie count and nutritional benefits, shoppers are going against the grain and looking for more than just bread in their lunch hour. Oily fish is rich in vitamins and Omega-3 fats have benefits for both body and brain making it the perfect midday snack.

Our customers want quality food with the highest welfare standards so its great to be able to offer a sushi that carries the MSC mark of reassurance."

According to Seafish, those in London are the UKs biggest sushi fans, with a 40% share of the market, however Scotland is catching up with the highest year-on-year growth at 30%.

Ellen Hardy