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Seafood ‘musseling in’ on the protein market

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Seafood week

Fish and seafood are gaining popularity year on year as disposable incomes increase and consumer awareness around the health benefits of the protein increase.

According to market research analysts, Canadean Intelligence Centre, the fish and seafood market in the UK was valued at £3,190.3 million in 2015 and is expected to reach 3,710.3 million by 2018. Within which, fresh fish and seafood are predicted to have the fastest growth to 2018, increasing the category value by £223.8 in the five-year period from 2013 to 2018.

Per capita consumption of fish and seafood is also forecast to increase from 8.35 kg/head in 2015 to 9.32 in 2018, realising growth rates of over 3% annually.

In order to keep up and to celebrate National Seafood Week, LINPAC has analysed five key trends that are seen as shaping the market in coming years.

Conveniently easier

Some shoppers may be slightly put off buying fish in the supermarket due to perceived challenges in preparation and cleanup. Retailers and suppliers are however trying to win over consumers by offering fish and seafood solutions that are easier to cook at home. Ready meals, frozen variations that can be microwaved or oven-cooked immediately, meal kits and steam bags are all innovations seen within the category to entice the convenience-craving consumer.

From boat to plate

Today’s consumer is seeking supply chain transparency and product provenance. Ideally, they want to follow their fish or seafood journey from boat to plate and technology advancements within the sector are now making this a reality. However, for now, at a minimum, consumers need to be able to see clean labelling demonstrating traceability. With the help of the Internet, consumers are more informed about their brands’ production practices so are likely to be choosy when deciding which fish to pick off the supermarket counter.


Street food, cultural local delicacies and decadent sauces are influencing flavours used in fish and seafood. According to the Food People, the main up and coming flavour trends seen in 2016 were spices, both exotic and traditional, such as za’atar and horseradish. Earthy flavours stemming from ancient grains, seeds, beer, beetroot and saffron. See a full list of ‘Big Flavour Markers 2016’ here.  

Lesser-known luxuries 

As disposable incomes increase, so do the searches for uncommon fish and seafood. Lesser-known protein options are making their way into our supermarket trolleys and restaurant menus are offering premium and luxury alternatives to the traditional cod and haddock.

One for the kids

Parents are increasingly concerned about their children receiving the daily vitamins, minerals and nutrition they require to optimise health. With increasing association with seafood, brands and retailers are looking to supply children friendly variations of their fishy products.

Health enthusiasts are craving a diet rich in fish, following increased awareness of the benefits of the protein to health. According to a recent study carried out by Cargill Animal Nutrition, nine out of 10 consumers associate health benefits with seafood; the most common benefits being listed as heart and brain health. 

All of these trends could result in fish and seafood taking a further share of the UK protein market in years to come. Even sea greens, such as seaweed, are today a top superfood of the year!

LINPAC offers a range of packaging solutions ideal for the fish and seafood market, visit our website for more information.  

Take a look at the National Seafood Week website to discover tasty recipes, health benefits, preparation and cooking tips, competitions and activities during the week. 

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