Sainsbury's has launched a new study into fish consumption and attitudes in the UK, which shows a marked shift in consumer buying habits.
According to the study, more people are purchasing lesser known, alternative fish that are more abundant in our oceans.
Following a year of high-profile awareness campaigns of sustainable fish, including Sainsbury's own Switch the Fish initiative, a shift in fish buying habits has resulted in sales increasing across species, including:
- Seabass (+57%)
- Fresh Pollack (+15%)
- Trout (+29%)
- Tilapia (+117%).
The Our Future with Fish report, commissioned by Sainsbury's and produced by the Future Foundation, predicts that this trend is set to continue as consumers make more informed and sustainable choices around the fish they eat.
By 2030, more than half (52%) of all fish products sold will be outside of the UK's most popular 'Big 5' species (cod, haddock, tuna, salmon and prawns).
The report also reveals that the population will be eating more fish, with UK adults set to eat 12 extra fish meals a year by 2030, increasing their weekly consumption by 17% (from under 8 million kilograms today to 9.23 million kilograms by 2030).
The so-called tradition Fish Friday is set to continue, as meals have increased by 4.4% since 2008 and are predicted to rise from one-in-five today (21%) to one-in-four (25%) in the next 10 years.
The report found that one of the primary drivers for increasing UK fish consumption is personal well-being, with 51% of people stating that health concerns have encouraged them to eat more fish over the last year.
However, the report also identified some of the key barriers to current fish consumption levels in the UK. These include a lack of recipe knowledge (35%), lack of availability of fresh fish in local shops (28%) and lack of time to prepare fish from scratch (28%).
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