Seafood 2040 funding to boost sustainable growth of UK’s £3.8bn fish and seafood sector, says GlobalData

Seafood 2040’s latest funding approval to continue developing new strategies for the UK’s seafood sector will help to reassure industry players post-Brexit and build a stronger, sustainable fish and seafood sector. The sector is valued at a forecast £3.8bn in 2020 and is currently expected to record steady growth, posting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.3% to reach £4.3bn in 2024, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Carmen Bryan, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Under the backdrop of Brexit, the UK’s fish and seafood market has faced many challenges, with uncertainty around new legislations being a main talking point. So, Seafood 2040’s latest funding will prove a significant win for the community, and help to reassure investors and industry players alike. An interesting area of the strategy includes its focus on building a sustainable supply chain – one of the biggest trends in the consumer goods industry to date.”

Bryan continues: “The threat from plant-based substitutes in the meat industry is becoming increasingly evident, and while still a niche area in the seafood sector, we can see clear parallels. Interestingly, 26% of Brits reported that they are extremely or somewhat likely to choose plant-based alternatives for fish and seafood, and when looking at the wider plant-based market, 28% stated that they would make the switch from traditional dairy and meat products due to sustainability reasons. It is therefore imperative that industry players align to this demand for green and environmentally friendly practices early to avoid consumers trading to plant-based alternatives – particularly as the trend is most prominent among younger generations. Seafood 2040’s goals will drive this positive change.”

In November 2020, Seafood 2040 also highlighted that there is limited domestic consumer demand in traditionally farmed species, despite a goal to have English farmed production contribute at least 15% of overall seafood consumption in England by 2040.

Bryan adds: “To help promote local species and products, brands must create a point of differentiation. Environmentally friendly claims and high nutritional profiles can help brands to achieve a premium, high quality image that may see consumers willingly trade-up over their usual buys. In fact, 23% of Brits currently agree that their spend on fish and seafood products is high, while a further 41% categorise their spend as medium, demonstrating an inclination towards premium products already.

“Seafood 2040 has a considerable task ahead – reshaping the UK’s aquaculture industry. However, given its practical goals that align with key consumer trends, it is likely that the initiative will help to stimulate the sector’s long-term growth aspirations.”

Consumer survey data is from GlobalData’s 2021 Q1 Consumer Survey

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