Salmon set to leap over chicken at top of menu

UK - Salmon could replace chicken as the nation’s favourite food, with the average customer now spending almost £25 a year on the fish, according to experts.

Falling prices and more awareness of the health benefits of oily fish are thought to be behind the rising sales, as people increasingly turn to salmon as an everyday food.

Shoppers bought £310 million worth of salmon in 2004, compared to £254 million in 2002. Over the period, the amount the average consumer spent on chilled salmon rose by £3.10 to £24.50.

It is expected the market will keep growing by 10 per cent year on year.

Industry leaders say last year’s health scare over farmed Scottish salmon had little impact on the market, with a 20 per cent increase in salmon being eaten at home in the past 12 months.

Researchers from the United States and Canada claimed to have identified cancer-causing chemicals in feed used at Scottish salmon farms. The Food Standards Agency moved quickly to tell consumers the levels of any chemicals were well within safety limits.

The market analysts TNS Global now predict that salmon sales will outstrip those of chicken.

Grenville Wall, senior market analyst at TNS Global, said: "Health is the factor driving the market for oily fish with enjoyment growing slightly and practicality slipping. Salmon, with its numerous health benefits, is ideally placed to take advantage of such trends."

Julie Edgar, of Scottish Quality Salmon, the organisation that quality-assures farmed salmon, agreed.

She said: "The health message is very strong when consumers are choosing what to buy in the supermarket.

Source: TheScotsman
calendar icon 14 April 2005
clock icon 1 minute read
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