“Salmon is expensive, other products are accessible”: ways to encourage fish consumption

“Salmon is expensive, other products are accessible”: ways to encourage fish consumption

Les poissons moins connus mais souvent aussi bon et moins chers à développer. Midi Libre – Vincent ANDORRA

Seafood products are suffering from inflation and buyers are sacrificing them. How to restore taste to consumers ? Through labels, local quality, little-known species and better communication, answer the specialists.

How to encourage consumers to eat more fish? There are clues when reading the study carried out by the IFOP. If 70% of respondents believe that the price is a barrier, they also say they prefer French and local fisheries which have a card to play.

"They are 81% in agreement on better quality in France, the battle of opinion is won on this point", agrees Jérôme Fourquet, rapporteur of the study presented at the national fishing conference in Lorient.

"Moreover, organic is marking time due to the price and it also faces competition from the purchase of local products in short circuits and structuring of a sector produced by our regions."

Brands exist in Occitanie

For this, brands already exist in Occitanie. The Valpem association, an inter-professional association which brings together producers, processors and wholesalers, launched the collective line-lined bluefin tuna brand which now benefits from eco-labelling and the international MSC reference.

It also bears the name "Wild Mediterranean", 120 producers who highlight local fishing products in the form of cooked dishes.

"But we are suffering from the inflationary trend and energy costs" deplores Bertrand Wendling, one of the linchpins, recalling the slump of a profession whose fleet is dwindling like nothing else.

The Occitanie Region also carries the colors of seafood products with Sud de France, a label which promotes, for example, dolphinfish, common mackerel, pageot or fish soups.< /p>

The idea is also to continue to promote so-called “poor” fish, less known, but sometimes just as tasty. Horse mackerel, sars, mules, Gascons…

"We need to direct people to fish they don't know about"

"Me for example, I prefer mullet to wolf" laughs Paul-Anthony Gros, from departmental fisheries committee of Gard, present in Lorient. "We must direct people to fish that they do not know that fits their portfolio."

But also, he reminds us, as with fruits and vegetables, respect seasonality: "mackerel or squid, that's three times cheaper in summer than in winter."

France Filière Pêche (FFP) has carried out display and communication campaigns to highlight these lesser-known species:"at your fishmonger and on the store shelves, you have to open your eyes: salmon, sole, are expensive and other products are accessible"&amp ;nbsp;insists Hélène Keraudren, general delegate.

Societal developments must also be taken into account. Consumers increasingly favor fish fillets for obvious time savings in cooking.

"Homemade food lasted as long as the French remained confined" recalls Jérôme Fourquet, pointing out his study: "the catering dish in the fish section, if we look at the evolution, has gained ten points. We are moving towards “simplified”, ready-to-use, 50% of lunch meals are taken away from home."

To professionals, the pollster finally submits this idea to improve the image of fish and boost its consumption.

"Look what happened with Top chef"

"We are on salmon, tuna, cod, shrimp, consumed by the French from a very young age, particularly in collective catering, they have a protected image capital to the detriment of others" he develops.

"You must seek allies, among the great figures of the restaurant industry to redevelop among the population, a culture of cuisine based on fish and fruit TV works with magic: watch what happened with Top Chef or the shows with the best bakers, if we had been told 25 years ago that the profession of baker would become glamorous again , no one would have believed it…"

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