Not only are UK consumers spending more on sustainable seafood, but it’s the millennials that have the strongest preference, according to a new report.
The research by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) shows that 52% of 18-34 year olds prefer to choose ecolabelled fish and seafood compared to 37% of those over 55 years old.
Shoppers’ spend on MSC certified seafood continues to increase, exceeding half a billion pounds (£754m) in the year 2016/17, a 29% rise on the £403m spent from the previous year and the fourth year in a row to see an increase. This means £1 out of every £5 spent in UK supermarkets on seafood goes on MSC certified sustainable fish.
The figures, part of a recent MSC report “From sustainable fishers to seafood lovers," confirms MSC certified products are increasing 20% year on year.
The ecolabel is not only gaining ground in retail but in foodservice too with leading restaurants such as Wahaca and McDonald’s, and even stores such as Ikea, continuing to make the commitment to certified sustainable seafood for their eco-conscious diners.
Fish and chip shops, meanwhile, are also upping their green credentials with now over 100 chippies in the UK using the ‘blue fish label’ on their fish.
Danielle Pinnington, MD at shopper research agency Shoppercentric, says: “It is encouraging that millennials are demonstrating the kinds of attitudes that will push suppliers and retailers to take ethical sourcing seriously. There is plenty of evidence emerging that the younger generation of shoppers are interested in the provenance and ethics of the products they are buying.”
Toby Middleton, UK programme director for MSC adds: “The fact is that UK shoppers value sustainable credentials above price and brand. We are delighted that the younger generation care about sustainable seafood – they are the shoppers of the future. With this year’s increase of restaurants, brands, and supermarkets using the MSC blue fish label, we can all help to drive sustainable fishing.”
Educating consumers and increasing public understanding of sustainable seafood is a vital part of MSC’s plans for 2018, which will see the launch of its ‘Keep it Wild – choose the blue fish’ campaign across the UK.
It hopes that by 2020 MSC fish and seafood will engage 20% of marine catch
Read the MSC’s Annual Report by clicking here