The Norwegian Seafood Council is to launch a 3 a week campaign in a bid to reverse a decline in seafood consumption.
The initiative, which is still in its infancy, aims to increase consumption by 20% by 2021. It follows statistics which reveal Norwegians are eating 15% less seafood than last year, with the decline especially noticeable among young consumers.
Renate Larsen, managing director at the Norwegian Seafood Council, says: “It is astounding that an average eighth grader today eats more sweets than fish and almost four times as much red meat as seafood.”
The decline in Norway’s seafood consumption has been attributed to a number of factors including higher prices, a lack of advertising in comparison to other sources of proteins, and an ageing population of seafood-eaters being replaced by a younger generation which eats too little seafood to compensate for the fall-off.
The 3 a week campaign, which has the support of industry and the grocery sector, hopes to lift seafood consumption in Norway by increasing young people's awareness of how simple seafood is, show the breadth of products and provide a positive reminder to choose seafood.
Although Norway is experiencing a downwards trend in seafood consumption, Renate believes the picture is not necessarily as negative as it first appears, adding: “The composition of the products being sold has changed over time. We are buying more fillet products instead of whole fish, and minced products such as fish cakes have a higher share of fish than previously. Recalculated in round weight, the reduction in consumption is somewhat less than in purchased product weight. And compared with other countries, Norwegians are still one of the world's largest consumers of seafood.”