Consumer trends to shape seafood industry: NSC


The Norwegian Seafood Council unveils its Top Seafood Consumer Trends report at THAIFEX

With the evolving seafood landscape, the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC), a public company owned by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, is pinpointing the adoption of technology and innovation as one of the top seafood consumer trends.

At THAIFEX – Anuga Asia 2024 held recently at Impact Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok, NSC unveiled its fourth annual Top Seafood Consumer Trends report, “Oceans of Change”, which takes a deep dive into changing consumer attitudes, buying behaviour, and industry developments with exclusive data gathered from across 17 different countries including Thailand.

Consumer trends to shape seafood industry: NSC

At this year’s trade show, 21 Norwegian seafood exporters showcased a wide range of premium seafood at the Norwegian Seafood Pavilion. NSC also hosted a seminar, with topics covering the development of the Norwegian salmon market in the Southeast Asia region, the success of Norwegian salmon and Norwegian saba, and its consumption and processing in Thailand.

According to the new global report, the top seafood consumer trends showed continued interest in transparency in supply chains and the demand for convenient and nutritious proteins with a focus on the pivotal role of technology and innovation to streamline operational efficiencies and sustainable monitoring.

Consumer trends to shape seafood industry: NSC

Dr. Asbjorn Warvik Rortveit, NSC’s Southeast Asia Regional Director, said that the Thai market is continuing to expand and the out-of-home consumption rate remains high. However, NSC has seen massive growth in online shopping with consumers ordering all kinds of food including seafood for delivery to their doorstep. This reflects a shift in consumer behaviours as urban populations depend on food services and less on heavy grocery shopping.

People shop for what they need at the time, sometimes several orders in a day. As one of the global seafood industry’s top sources for market insight, NSC has invested in nearly 30 countries and 15 offices worldwide and conducts an annual tracker that monitors more than 60,000 consumers worldwide to capture insights and data relevant to the seafood industry.

With greater adoption of technologies such as QR codes, retailers and food operators can educate the consumers about product information, sustainability, and the origin of their seafood. This is where the “Seafood from Norway” logo comes into play and has been proved to be a key success factor in promoting Norwegian seafood in Thailand.

Consumer trends to shape seafood industry: NSC

“In 2023, 81% of Thai consumers from Bangkok could recognise the Seafood from Norway logo, a 38% increase from the previous year, and more than 50% of Salmon buyers in Bangkok could correctly identify that the products come from Norway,” Dr Asbjorn said.

From January to April 2024, Norway exported 7,243 tons of fresh Norwegian salmon and fjord trout to Thailand, a 7% growth in volume and 12% growth in value, with overall Norwegian seafood experiencing a growth of 10%, valued at 3.6 billion baht.

Focusing on the salmon market, the report indicated that at least 45% of consumers most often eat salmon at home, followed by at restaurants and finally from delivery services. Those in the 45-50% range for home consumption – Brazil, China, Saudia Arabia, South Korea Thailand and Vietnam – typically eat a little more than a third of their salmon in restaurants with the rest coming in the form of delivery.

Consumer trends to shape seafood industry: NSC

In addition, NSC took the opportunity to introduce the new Southeast Asia Regional Director, Ashild Nakken, who is replacing Dr Asbjorn. Ashild has been working with NSC as Communication Lead and was a key driver of the Norwegian seafood’s success in China market during her tenure as director from 2006 to 2011.

She also has extensive knowledge about the seafood industry from working as a manager for value added products in Leroy Seafood AS, a world-leading seafood corporation.


Top photo (from left): HE Astrid Emilie Helle, Ambassador of Norway to Thailand, Dr. Asbjorn Warvik Rortveit, Southeast Asia Regional Director, Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC), Thitiporn Laoprasert, Inspector General, Department of Fisheries and Ashild Nakken, the new Southeast Asia Regional Director, Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC)