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Fish and Shellfish - UK - November 2016

"Despite positive attitudes towards fish and shellfish in terms of most people being confident preparing it, thinking it is a quick-to-cook meal option and seeing it as good for a healthy diet, the average consumer is failing to eat the recommended two portions of fish a week by some distance. Being seen as too expensive is one reason for  not eating fish, suggesting a need to promote cheaper fish meals, but a lack of general inspiration appears to be another barrier, with strong interest in more recipes and ideas for incorporating fish into more meal occasions."

– Richard Caines, Senior Food and Drink Analyst

This report will cover the following areas:

  • Bigger emphasis on promotion of fish as a healthy and affordable meal option needed to encourage increased consumption
  • More scope to add value to fish and shellfish sales by targeting those looking for ease of preparation
  • New products and recipe ideas offer will be important in encouraging people to increase their repertoire of fish meals 

Being seen as too expensive is the biggest reason for not eating more fish or eating fish at all, suggesting overcoming perceptions that all fish is expensive is important. General attitudes towards eating fish are generally positive though, with most people confident preparing it, thinking it is a quick-to-cook meal option and recognising its health benefits.

The main reason for low average consumption appears to lie in consumers suffering from a lack of inspiration when it comes to incorporating seafood into a wider repertoire of meal occasions, pointing to a need to improve in-store marketing at fish and shellfish fixtures. This includes highlighting more strongly new convenient and easy-to-cook products and providing recipe/meal ideas for shoppers to take away.

This Report discusses the retail sales of seafood for in-home consumption. Seafood is defined for the purposes of this Report to include fish (fin fish) and shellfish (including crustaceans), whether chilled, frozen or ambient. This Report includes plain, as well as processed and ready-to-cook products.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Small increase in value sales of fish and shellfish
              • Population growth should help volumes but price rises expected
                • Figure 1: Forecast of UK retail value sales of fish and shellfish, by value, 2011-21
              • Companies and brands
                • John West increases share of ambient fish sales
                  • Figure 2: Leading brands’ shares in the UK ambient seafood market, by value, 2015/16
                • Premium range success not enough to boost branded frozen sales
                  • Figure 3: Leading brands’ shares in the UK frozen seafood market, by value, 2015/16
                • Chilled fish taking bigger share of 2016 launch activity
                  • The consumer
                    • Eight in 10 people fish and shellfish eaters
                      • Being too expensive biggest barrier to eating fish
                        • Figure 4: Reasons for not eating fish more often/at all, September 2016
                      • Product visibility important to buyers of fish
                        • Strong demand for single-serve packs
                          • Convenience products can add value to fish sales
                            • A third of buyers interested in healthier coatings
                              • Figure 5: Products people are interested in seeing more of when shopping for fish/shellfish, September 2016
                            • Ease of preparation a big influence on choice
                              • Strong interest in sustainability issues
                                • Figure 6: Attitudes towards buying and eating fish and Shellfish, September 2016
                              • High awareness of two portions of fish a week being healthy
                                • Recipe ideas important for increasing eating of fish
                                  • Figure 7: Attitudes towards cooking and eating fish and shellfish, September 2016
                                • What we think
                                • Issues and Insights

                                  • Bigger emphasis on promotion of fish as a healthy and affordable meal option needed to encourage increased consumption
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • More scope to add value to fish and shellfish sales by targeting those looking for ease of preparation
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                              • New products and recipe ideas offer will be important in encouraging people to increase their repertoire of fish meals
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Chilled fish and discounters drive small increase in value sales
                                                      • Mixture of trading up and deflationary pressures
                                                        • Prices likely to increase following fall in value of the Pound
                                                          • Push towards added value in chilled segment
                                                            • High-value products limiting decline in frozen sales
                                                              • Deflationary pressures hit canned fish sales
                                                                • Demand for fish for scratch cooking and ready-to-cook options
                                                                  • Fish consumption failing to meet NHS recommendations
                                                                    • Projected population growth set to drive additional demand
                                                                    • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                      • Chilled fish and discounters drive small increase in total sales
                                                                        • Figure 8: UK retail value and volume sales of fish and shellfish, 2011-21
                                                                        • Figure 9: Forecast of UK retail value sales of fish and shellfish, by value, 2011-21
                                                                        • Figure 10: Forecast of UK retail value sales of fish and shellfish, by volume, 2011-21
                                                                      • The impact of the EU Referendum
                                                                        • Figure 11: Alternative scenarios for the post-Brexit fish and shellfish market, at current prices, 2016-21
                                                                        • Figure 12: Alternative scenarios for the post-Brexit fish and shellfish market, at current prices, 2016-21
                                                                      • Not too much to fear from any incomes squeeze
                                                                        • Forecast methodology
                                                                        • Segment Performance

                                                                          • Growth in sales of chilled fish
                                                                            • Figure 13: UK retail value and volume sales of chilled fish and shellfish, 2011-21
                                                                            • Figure 14: Forecast of UK retail sales of chilled fish and shellfish, by value, 2011-21
                                                                            • Figure 15: Forecast of UK retail sales of chilled fish and shellfish, by volume, 2011-21
                                                                          • Higher-value product lines limit decline in frozen fish sales
                                                                            • Figure 16: UK retail value and volume sales of frozen fish and shellfish, 2011-21
                                                                            • Figure 17: Forecast of UK retail sales of frozen fish and shellfish, by value, 2011-21
                                                                            • Figure 18: Forecast of UK retail sales of frozen fish and shellfish, by volume, 2011-21
                                                                          • Falling prices hit value sales of canned fish
                                                                            • Figure 19: UK retail value and volume sales of ambient fish and shellfish, 2011-21
                                                                            • Figure 20: Forecast of UK retail sales of ambient fish and shellfish, by value, 2011-21
                                                                            • Figure 21: Forecast of UK retail sales of ambient fish and shellfish, by volume, 2011-21
                                                                        • Market Drivers

                                                                          • Fish and shellfish sales can benefit from interest in scratch cooking
                                                                            • Ready-to-cook fish options can appeal to those looking to free up time
                                                                              • Consumption of fish failing to meet NHS recommendations
                                                                                • Falling prices should benefit fish consumption
                                                                                  • Figure 22: Consumer price indices – total food, meat and fish, January 2011-August 2016
                                                                                • Discounters heat up focus on price in grocery retailing
                                                                                  • Brexit and Common Fisheries policy
                                                                                    • Catering for different sizes of household
                                                                                      • Figure 23: UK households, by size, 2011-21
                                                                                    • Smaller homes limit freezer space
                                                                                      • New voluntary ban in response to Greenpeace report
                                                                                      • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                        • John West increases share of canned fish sales
                                                                                          • Premium range successes not enough to boost total branded sales
                                                                                            • Chilled fish taking bigger share of 2016 launch activity
                                                                                              • Ethical claims widespread in new fish launches
                                                                                                • Growing focus on ease of use claims
                                                                                                  • Wider range of added flavours being seen for fish
                                                                                                    • Increase in advertising for fish and shellfish in 2015
                                                                                                      • A few big brands and retailers dominate spending
                                                                                                        • Big advertising push by Lidl seen in 2016
                                                                                                        • Market Share

                                                                                                          • John West increases share of canned fish sales
                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK ambient seafood market, by value and volume, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                                                                                                            • Premium ranges offer a boost to frozen fish sales
                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK frozen seafood market, by value and volume, 2013/14 and 2014/15
                                                                                                          • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                            • Chilled fish taking bigger share of 2016 launch activity
                                                                                                              • Figure 26: New product launches in the UK processed fish and shellfish market, by storage type, 2012-16
                                                                                                            • Fish products push ethical claims
                                                                                                              • Retailers increasing commitment to sustainable seafood
                                                                                                                • Focus on convenience to drive fish sales
                                                                                                                  • Premium claims look to encourage trading up in own-label
                                                                                                                    • Wider range of added flavours for fish
                                                                                                                      • Focus on smoking process for salmon
                                                                                                                        • Figure 27: New product launches in the UK processed fish market*, by top 25 claims, 2012-16
                                                                                                                    • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                      • Increase in 2015 advertising spending
                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on fish and shellfish, 2012-16
                                                                                                                      • Frozen fish the biggest focus for advertising support
                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on fish and shellfish, by category, 2012-16
                                                                                                                      • Iceland biggest advertiser in fish/seafood in 2015
                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on fish and shellfish, by advertiser, 2012-16
                                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on fish and shellfish, by 10 highest-spending brands, 2015
                                                                                                                      • Seafood Week aims to get people eating more fish
                                                                                                                        • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                          • Eight in 10 people are fish and shellfish eaters
                                                                                                                            • Being too expensive biggest barrier to eating fish
                                                                                                                              • Product visibility important to buyers of fish
                                                                                                                                • Strong demand for single-serve packs
                                                                                                                                  • Convenience products can add value to fish sales
                                                                                                                                    • A third of buyers interested in healthier coatings
                                                                                                                                      • Ease of preparation a big influence on choice
                                                                                                                                        • Strong interest in sustainability issues
                                                                                                                                          • High awareness of two portions of fish a week being healthy
                                                                                                                                            • Recipe ideas important for increasing fish consumption
                                                                                                                                            • Frequency of Eating Fish and Shellfish

                                                                                                                                              • Eight in 10 people eat fish or shellfish
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Usage of fish and shellfish, September 2016
                                                                                                                                              • Frozen fish eaten most widely, but chilled fish eaten more frequently
                                                                                                                                                • Eating shellfish more of an occasional indulgence
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Frequency of eating fish and shellfish, by format, September 2016
                                                                                                                                              • Reasons for Not Eating Fish More Often/At All

                                                                                                                                                • Price the biggest barrier to eating more fish
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Reasons for not eating fish more often/at all, September 2016
                                                                                                                                                • Worries about bones a significant barrier to eating fish
                                                                                                                                                  • More suggestions and advice on fish can help encourage eating
                                                                                                                                                    • Promoting fish to cater for a wide range of individual tastes
                                                                                                                                                      • Young people have more reasons for not eating fish
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Repertoire of reasons for not eating fish more often or at all, September 2016
                                                                                                                                                    • Interest in Fish and Shellfish Products

                                                                                                                                                      • Strong interest in seeing product through packaging
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Products people are interested in seeing more of when shopping for fish/shellfish, September 2016
                                                                                                                                                      • Single-serve packs enjoy strong appeal
                                                                                                                                                        • Further interest in family-size packs
                                                                                                                                                          • Strong demand for convenience in fish products
                                                                                                                                                            • Making fish part of easy meals with pasta and rice
                                                                                                                                                              • Interest in more breaded fish with healthier coatings
                                                                                                                                                                • Influence of foreign cuisines drives interest in hot/spicy flavours
                                                                                                                                                                  • Three in ten people would like more sustainably caught fish
                                                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes towards Buying and Eating Fish and Shellfish

                                                                                                                                                                    • White fish appeals as a low-fat source of protein
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Attitudes towards buying and eating fish and Shellfish, September 2016
                                                                                                                                                                    • Ease of preparation a big influence on choice of fish
                                                                                                                                                                      • Strong interest in suggestions of sustainable alternative fish options
                                                                                                                                                                        • Support for the UK fishing industry worth a price premium
                                                                                                                                                                          • CHAID analysis
                                                                                                                                                                            • Methodology
                                                                                                                                                                              • Ease of preparation most important to parents
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Fish and Shellfish – CHAID – Tree output, September 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Fish and Shellfish – CHAID – Table output, September 2016
                                                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes towards Cooking and Eating Fish and Shellfish

                                                                                                                                                                              • Promoting fish as a quick-to-cook meal option
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Attitudes towards cooking and eating fish and shellfish, September 2016
                                                                                                                                                                              • High awareness of two portions of fish a week as healthy
                                                                                                                                                                                • Interest in suggestions for cheap meals using fish
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Expanding the repertoire of eating occasions
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Forecast Methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Segment Performance

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 41: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK retail value sales of fish and shellfish, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK retail volume sales of fish and shellfish, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK retail value sales of chilled fish and shellfish, 2011-21
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK retail volume sales of chilled fish and shellfish, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK retail value sales of frozen fish and shellfish, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK retail volume sales of frozen fish and shellfish, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK retail value sales of ambient fish and shellfish, 2011-21
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK retail volume sales of ambient fish and shellfish, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Market Share

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK ambient seafood market, by value and volume, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK frozen seafood market, by value and volume, 2013/14 and 2014/15
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Split of branded vs own-label new product launches in the UK processed fish market, by storage type, January-September 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: New product launches in the UK processed fish market, by company (top 15)*, 2012-16

                                                                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                          To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Fish and Shellfish - UK - November 2016

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