Sponsor content from The Marine Stewardship Council

What do today’s seafood consumers expect?

Seafood preferences have evolved dramatically over the last two years. Sustainability is top of mind for most while climate change concerns are causing younger consumers to eat less seafood.

Sponsor content from The Marine Stewardship Council
Written by
& NHST Global Publications
September 10, 2018

Why do younger people in certain countries claim to eat less seafood than their elders? Are men or women more interested in sustainable seafood—or do both share the same sentiments? Are older people, or younger people, more concerned about climate change?

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is hosting three 1-hour webinars to suit different time zones on Tuesday, October 9th to answer these questions and more.

Consumer preferences for seafood have shifted tremendously over the last two years. To find out exactly how, MSC recently commissioned a survey of nearly 19,000 seafood consumers in 22 countries. The survey was conducted online by GlobeScan, a top research consultancy whose clients also include IKEA, Unilever and McDonald’s, among others.

We had a sneak peek and here are three of our takeaways from the survey, which will be explored in greater detail during the webinar.

1. Consumers care about sustainability

By and large, consumers agree that pollution and overfishing represent serious problems that threaten the health of marine ecosystems.

To combat those problems, consumers around the globe are increasingly interested in sustainability; 83% of seafood consumers agree that it is important to protect seafood supplies for future generations.

But it’s not enough for seafood brands to simply pay lip service to their sustainability efforts. Today’s consumers are demanding that third parties independently verify their sustainability claims.

0ee2409a8a8a8dec8b02f5453b78bd9a Food for thought: In contrast with most other countries around the world, older consumers in Japan are more likely to be concerned about the impacts of climate change on the ocean Photo: Yagi-Studio

2. Consumer habits are shifting around the world

The survey uncovered several changes in seafood consumer preferences, which vary on a country by country basis. Some highlights, which will be explored at greater length during the webinar, are as follows:

· Germany. Younger Germans are less likely to eat seafood than their elders. Yet most, regardless of age or gender, agree that sustainability is more important than price when choosing which seafood to purchase.
· China. Older Chinese consumers eat more seafood than their younger peers—just like in Germany. And, regardless of age or gender, the Chinese care more about sustainability than price as well. But illegal fishing is also rising on the agenda with younger Chinese consumers saying it’s one of their top three concerns about the ocean.
· United States. Coastal seafood consumers in the U.S. are more likely to pay more for sustainable seafood than those who live further away from the coast. They are also more likely to have a positive view of the efforts retailers and large companies make to protect the ocean.
· France. Women in France and coastal customers care more about sustainability than price while men and those who live inland prefer looking for the best deals. Older French consumers care more about sustainability than younger consumers and are willing to spend more money to support it.

Join MSC’s webinar to gain deeper insights into seafood consumer preferences in each of these four countries, as well as Austria, Japan, Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Australia, Singapore, United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Poland and South Africa.

3. Younger consumers around the world are more concerned about climate change

The research revealed that younger seafood consumers tend to be more worried about the impact climate change is having on the environment. This makes sense—if for no other reason than these younger folks have more time left on the planet.

There is, however, one exception to this global trend: In Japan, it’s the elders who care more about climate change.

Why is that? Sign up for MSC's webinar to find out. We look forward to seeing you there!

This article was produced by the content marketing team at NHST Global Publications, an affiliate of IntraFish Media, on behalf of an advertiser, the Marine Stewardship Council.