Traditionally underused seafood species saw substantial growth in sales during 2015’s Christmas retail period, according to new market data published by Seafish, the UK industry authority.
Species such as whitebait, cuttlefish, ling, snapper and skate all saw significant increases in sales or volume sold in the UK over the Christmas period. The data reveals that whitebait was one of the most significant success stories. £34,500 worth of the bite sized fish crossed counters between the four week period from 6th December to 2nd January 2016, an increase of almost 12% compared to sales figures for the same period last year.
Adventurous consumers also purchased 234% more cuttlefish. After registering almost negligible sales over Christmas 2014, more than £3000 worth of the undervalued cephalopod made its way into shopping baskets. Another surprise success was the growth in sales of ling with a 3128% increase in sales in comparison to the previous year.
Snapper showed signs of becoming one of our favourite tropical imports. Popular internationally, but only starting to make its mark on the UK market, it grew 418% with sales worth £10,200.
Skate and ray also made a bigger impact with sales of £122,470 over Christmas, a massive growth of 162.1% against the 2014 figures.
Premium seafood products were also on the menu, with consumers purchasing more caviar than ever before, with sales worth over £167,500 was sold to Christmas shoppers looking to splash out.
‘It’s great to see a wider variety of seafood making gains in the marketplace,’ said Julia Brooks, market insight analyst at Seafish.
‘As well as being an indicator of shifting consumer tastes, these findings also reflect an increased effort from retailers to expand their product ranges and bring undervalued, high quality species into the mainstream.’