Finnish retailer S Group has announced that the sales of fresh fish increased by a fifth in S-food outlets in the past year.
Antti Oksa, selection director at S Group, said, "Such a significant increase in sales of fresh fish in our stores indicates that we have succeeded in increasing the popularity of fish.
"We started a campaign for domestic fish a year ago in May. Such a change in one product group is completely unprecedented."
In this period, the sales of fresh fish in S-food stores surpassed one million kilograms, the retailer added.
Rainbow trout emerged as one of the best-selling fish in this period with the Finnish Saimaa fresh rainbow trout fillet the most popular fish product.
S-food stores also witnessed an increase in demand for vendace, herring, pike and whitefish.
Professor of nutrition at the University of Helsinki, Mikael Fogelholm, commented, “In addition to vegetables, fruit, olive and rapeseed oil and whole-grain products, fish is the most important product group, in terms of promoting good health.
“What is on offer is also important in terms of food choices, how easy it is to prepare and what the food costs. Perhaps the interest in fish is also increased by the fact that people are becoming more and more environmentally conscious.”
Seasonal Fish Assortment
The retailer’s fish offering is seasonal, which results in an assortment of fresh and tasty fish products that are also affordable.
The seasonal assortment has also resulted in a significant increase in the sales of special fish species like domestic mackerel, carp, perch and pike, the retailer said.
Oksa said, "Fish is a tasty and super-healthy climate food that comes up close. Finns want to eat much more domestic fish, but it has also been considered expensive and difficult to prepare. We want to break these myths and make everyday use of fish easier in many different ways."
The retailer has also witnessed an increase in demand for new fish products, such as seafood steaks, sticks and dumplings.
In terms of innovation, S Group sees scope for herring and roach fish products that are easy to make at home.
"The Baltic Sea is full of herring, but currently only five percent of herring ends up being eaten by humans. We will certainly see breakthrough products that use less exploited fish," Oksa added and continued, "Hopefully, we will see new ideas in the Finnish Recipe for Success competition, for example, which is looking for food hits."
Finland’s ministry of agriculture and forestry is preparing a domestic fish promotion programme and S Group is also taking steps to encourage fisheries operators to come up with new ways to promote domestic fish consumption.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.