In the 52 weeks ending 20 August 2000, Taylor Nelson Sofres data states that total household expenditure on fish and fish products reached £1,002m, an increase of 4% on the previous year. The Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish) welcomes these results.

Again, the ‘fresh and chilled’ and ‘defined chilled’ sectors have shown the most significant growth.

In the quarter beginning June to end of August, the value of ‘fresh and chilled’ fish products was up 9% to 108m, compared to the same period in 1999. The volume of ‘fresh and chilled’ fish purchases also increased during this period to 16,876 tonnes, a growth of 5%. The total volume for 52 weeks ending 20 August 2000 was 72,751 and total value of this sector is over £455m, volume increasing by 4.5% and value by 7.4% compared to the same time last year.

Tony Mogan, Head of Marketing at Seafish says: “The increase in volume and value of the ‘fresh and chilled’ sector is largely due to sales of oil-rich fish such as herring, mackerel and kippers. Consumers are becoming more aware of the benefits of eating oil-rich fish. Benefits include the reduction of heart disease, alleviation of the symptoms of arthritis and improved skin conditions. Not forgetting it’s good value for money and extremely tasty too.”

The ‘defined chilled’ sector, which includes fish-in-sauce, pies, bakes, crumbles and seafood cocktails, has shown an overall increase in value to £88.1m, up 10% on August 2000. And in those 52 weeks, volumes in the defined chilled sector have shown a growth of 13% to 15,304 tonnes. Fish-in-sauce has the largest share of the defined chilled sector at 18%, followed by pies/bakes/crumbles at 14% and prawn/seafood cocktails at 12%. In the year-end August 2000, volumes of prawn/seafood cocktails grew by 61.5%.

The frozen fish sector continues to show recovery, with volume increasing 2% in the 12 weeks ending 20 August. In this sector, own-brand battered fish fillets contributed to the recovery with a growth of 97% to 1,281 tonnes compared with 649 tonnes last year. Own-brand frozen ‘fish in sauce’ has also shown a strong performance and we have seen a dramatic increase in volume, with an increase of 58% from 850 tonnes to 1,341 tonnes.

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Multiples have the biggest market share of fresh and chilled household purchases at 70%, followed by independent fishmongers at 17%. Multiples also have 71% share of the frozen fish market whilst freezer centres have almost 20%.

For further information contact Mandy Queen, Consumer Communications at Seafish, on 0131 558 3331 or 07798 781395.

Notes to Editor

  1. ‘Fresh and chilled’ fish products include loose wet fish and shellfish from the fish counter and unprepared pre-packed fish and shellfish.
  2. The Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish) is a statutory body, which provides a wide range of services to the fish industry including marketing, technology, training, aquaculture, economics and statistics.
  3. TNS produce quarterly reports for Seafish.