Irish Consumers Buy More Fish14 November 2012
IRELAND - Irish shoppers are increasing their purchasing of fish with retail sales rising by one per cent to €189 million in the year ending May 2012 according to Kantar worldpanel, reports Teresa Brophy, Ireland Market Manager, Bord Bia.
Around 95 per cent of households now buy fish every two to three weeks with the frequency of purchase continuing to rise.
Fresh fish accounts for 59 per cent of total fish sales and are growing at a faster rate than the total market. Some 83 per cent of households buy fresh fish every three to four weeks - 68 per cent of which is in prepacked form.
A number of the previously underutilised fish species such as haddock, hake and whiting promoted by Bord Bia are increasing in popularity. While from a small base, hake is one of the fastest growing fresh fish and is seen by consumers as an alternative to cod. Irish shoppers currently spend €3.45 million on fresh hake – an 83 per cent increase in the last year.
This ties in with the trend identified in Bord Bia research in 2011 which indicates that consumers are now looking for more variety, both in terms of new fish species and interesting recipes/methods of preparation to gradually move them beyond their comfort zone.
Consumers also say that they want to support Irish fish and assume that it is healthier and fresher. They also emphasise the important role of the fishmonger and fish counter staff in educating them about fish.