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China: Seafood retail opportunities

Market opportunity: Seafood retail opportunities

Key details

Opportunity: Seafood retail opportunities

Country: China

Sector: Food and drink

Summary

China's seafood imports increased by 39% to 106 billion CNY (15.6 billion USD) in 2019, making it the world's second-largest single-country seafood importer after the USA.

During the COVID-19 outbreak in China, many new and emerging retail channels saw explosive growth within seafood categories as consumers were forced to eat at home instead of in restaurants and hospitality settings.

As China has recovered from COVID-19, most consumers have maintained this purchasing trend as well as returning to consuming seafood in food service.

Based on market intelligence, the most popular imported seafood for online and offline retail sales are shrimp, salmon, crab, cod, lobster, oyster, mussels, scallops and abalone.

 

Scale of opportunity

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, China imported 1.47 million tonnes of seafood in the first quarter of 2020 – a slight increase in volume of 4.5% against the first quarter of 2019.

The Chinese seafood market is highly seasonal and holiday dependent. During important holiday seasons, seafood is one of the main products purchased online, for example during Chinese New Year in 2019, in which seafood accounted for 38% of food sales on Fresh.jd.com.

Eligible companies

Scottish producers of fresh and frozen seafood who are already exporting to China market and could supply stable volumes of quality seafood at a competitive price.

Scottish seafood producers keen to sell branded seafood products to target premium retail markets in China.

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