Scottish seafood sector shifts gear to satisfy customers

With new trends coming thick and fast, everything from scallop and lobster sausages, to salmon skin crisps, and skate jerky, a seafood shake-up is on the cards. Welcome to Scotland’s new seafood landscape.

Scottish seafood is prized around the world. Now it's time to start exploring new ways to introduce consumers to the benefits and delights of having more seafood in their diets.

From novel nibbles to seafood’s alternative to charcuterie - seacuterie, innovation and experimentation are being used across the sector to please the growing number of seafood lovers. It's definitely a great time to be in the seafood business.

Seafood news indicates healthy market

Culinary power players are wading in with new seafood concepts. Chefs are experimenting with a range of seafood starters and appetisers. And manufacturers are exploring crisp offerings and seafood snacks for the on-the-go market.

According to market research company, Datassentials, nearly 90% of US consumers said they have snacked on seafood in 2017. So, it’s clear, consumers are eating more seafood, but they want more choice and more flavour experiences.

The question is, will Scotland’s seafood and food and drink companies engage with changing tastes and expectations, and keep themselves relevant players in the market? 

Seacuterie: the fishy alternative to charcuterie

Seafood can be every bit as inventive and commercially viable as charcuterie. Chefs have begun to broaden their interest beyond traditional fish and seafood plates, looking at other ways to entice the customer.

Seacuterie is the sea's alternative to charcuterie. Dishes like salmon pastrami, dry cured and spiced swordfish, sardines and octopus salami, and scallop and lobster sausages are pushing the boundaries of what seafood is and can be.

The US is ahead of the game with all this seafood experimentation. They’re on trend with seacuterie, and an increasing number of fishy cuisine fusions are appearing on menu’s stateside.

The new catch of the day

The Pokeatery, in San Mateo, California invented their culinary seafood snack mashup by merging food trends. Their pokecado toast, is a fusion of avocado toast and poke salad, which includes marinated fish.

Smickles is a plate of pickles and smelts, developed by Seattle’s, Shaker & Spear. This pickle fish fusion is dipped in dill pickle brine, dried, coated, fried and served with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.

Brooklyn's Camperdown Elm, serves SMAK, a pâté made from smoked mackerel, amberjack and kingfish, served with squid-ink crackers and sesame seed. While fellow NYC eatery, Bessou, has dried skate jerky on the menu, a drinking snack already big in Japan.

Sea snacks for the on-the-go market

Seafood-based crisps are a new snacking category that provide low-calorie and high-protein crisp alternatives.

According to research company, Mintel, seaweed food and drink launches increased in Europe by 147% between 2011 and 2015. Of these launches, 37% took place in the snack category.

In the UK, the seaweed snack market showed a growth of 69% between 2016 and 2017.

The sales of food and restaurant chain, Itsu’s, Crispy Seaweed Thins are up by more than 28% year-on-year in 2017, and the company’s prawn crackers are following into the same market space.

Sea Chips, launched in 2017, claims to be the UK’s first handmade snack product made from salmon skin waste. This Sea Chip ticks the sustainability box too, and the company is also donating 10% of its profit to an ocean charity.

Currently in development along the same lines, is a jellyfish crisp from Denmark, proving that sustainability and healthier snacks can go hand in hand.

Growth opportunities for businesses in Scotland

More and more people are looking for health-conscious, experimental and on-the-go food. Homegrown Scottish culinary talent and our natural larder are a perfect combination for market change and Scottish seafood diversification. Taking from, and building on influences from around the globe, we have the talent to spearhead seafood innovation across all food and drink sectors.

If you want to understand more about fish and seafood trends in Scotland, our innovation support team can help. We work with businesses to improve processes, work-forces, and new product development. If you're looking to become more innovative we’re here to support all kinds of innovation to help businesses grow and prosper.

Innovation support for Scottish food and drink companies

Make Innovation Happen is a single source of innovation support for businesses involved in the Scottish food and drink supply chain.

Scotland Food & Drink, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise work in partnership across academia, the public sector and the industry to deliver a comprehensive innovation support service.

Make Innovation Happen can help your business by providing:

  • Access to 'connectors', who can offer support, advice and mentoring, as well as direction to appropriate support
  • Ideas and insights on how to innovate through articles and events
  • Funding through the Collaborative Innovation Fund
  • Help to access other innovation services provided by Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Interface and others

 

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