Innovation and new opportunities in the seafood industry: benefits of the pandemic

Fresh fish and seafood arrangement on black stone background
Fresh fish and seafood arrangement on black stone background

The Norwegian Seafood Council's (NSC) annual trend report concludes that pandemic has accelerated trends, driven innovation, and created opportunities across the seafood industry for 2022. Consumers have changed their shopping habits, driven by store closures and restricted access. Thereby, there has been a marked growth in grocery e-commerce.

In addition, NSC remembers that businesses from wholesale suppliers to local independent restaurants had to come up with innovative revenue streams that deliver versatile solutions. Also, meeting the demand of a more sustainability-minded consumer.

Secondly, the report notes that what they see online is what inspires younger consumers. They are willing to try easy, convenient, new products. Besides, they are usually the consumers pushing for clarity around sustainability.

According to Dr. Lars Moksness, consumer behavior analyst at the NSC, e-commerce is so trending now, with millions of consumers choosing to buy online through the pandemic, that "thinking of online versus offline is already old".

Moreover, Moksness points out the inclusion of providers or third-party delivery services. "Through a third party, there is real potential to revitalize small-scale businesses in small places. Such as the butcher's shop or the fresh fish market that can't run its online service," he said.

Dr. Lars Moksness – NCS

Trust and sustainability

On the other side, consumers' trust is the other great added value. Not seeing or smelling the product can also be a 'mixed blessing'. "When you can order fresh fish from the local fishmonger, you eradicate any trust issues with the product because you know the store and you shop there already," explains Moksness. "The only difference is that you get it straight to your home via electric vehicle."

Finally, the report focuses on sustainability. It is known that from governments to consumers, everyone is demanding more transparency around sustainability. NSC highlights the work of the Norwegian firm Vesterålen Havbruk. To sum up, it uses blockchain technology to improve transparency and meet the demands of a growing, younger generation of health, climate, and animal welfare-conscious consumers.

Furthermore, the company's CodSwap app allows users to trace their cod from catch or harvest, through processing and transport before arriving at the destination of a fish handler.

Two days ago, WeAreAquaculture analyzed what to remember, learn and expect from COVID-19.

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