Salmon even more popular with UK consumers, data shows

Fresh raw salmon fish steak with spices on dark stone background. Creative layout made of fish, top view, flat lay

Salmon’s position as the UK’s favourite seafood has been further strengthened, the latest retail figures show.

Sales figures for the year to September 2023 compiled by industry authority Seafish, with marketing group Nielsen, reveal that salmon sales totalled around £1.25bn, up 3.2% on the same period last year.

Salmon accounted for around 30% of total fish sales, which were around £4.18bn.

In the chilled seafood sector, salmon increased its value share of the top ten chilled species to 48.7% (+0.9 points), selling around four times its nearest competitor, warm water prawns.

While inflation has driven prices of all seafood higher, salmon increased at a lower rate than the overall food and drink category.

The figures are based on data gathered from supermarkets and other large multiple retailers, but do not include seafood bought directly from fishing vessels or from independent shops and fishmongers.

The seafood table in full is:

  • Fish: £4,177,098,000 – (2.5%)
  • Total salmon: £1,245,704,000 – (3.2%)
  • Cod: £475,972,000 – (0.3%)
  • Tuna: £408,604,000 – (0.4%)
  • Warm water prawns: £405,062,000 – (2.4%)
  • Mixed seafood: £224,868,000 – (0.7%)
  • Haddock: £221,678,000 – (3.0%)
  • Pollock: £209,388,000 – (21.4%)
  • Cold water prawns: £184,157,000 – (0.7%)
  • Mackerel: £124,886,000 – (0.4%)
  • Other: £676,779,000 – (3.3%)

This week, Scottish Parliament marked St Andrew’s Day with an event celebrating Scottish food and drink, including Scottish salmon.

It was arranged by the Cross Party Group (CPG) on St Andrew’s Day, which is convened by MSP Michelle Thomson.

Michelle Thomson commented: “I am grateful for the support provided by Salmon Scotland for the annual St Andrew’s Day celebration in the Scottish Parliament.

“The CPG exists to promote Scotland and her national day – and what better opportunity than also using it to showcase some of her food and drink products.”

Separately, the British Embassy in Paris once again hosted an event to celebrate the global success of Scottish salmon.

The value of Scottish salmon exports has jumped by 7% in a year as international demand also continues to grow, with France remaining the top destination.

On a rolling annual basis up to the end of September, salmon exports stood at £611m – confirming the nutritious fish’s place as the UK’s top food export.

Tavish Scott, Chief Executive, Salmon Scotland

Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said: “Scottish salmon’s success as the UK’s biggest food export is well known, but salmon is also by far the most popular fish here at home as well.

“Salmon accounts for nearly a third of all UK seafood sales, with consumers eager for a highly nutritious meal that is locally sourced.

“While this is fantastic news for the health of the nation, it’s also a reminder that salmon is vital for our economy, supporting thousands of jobs – both in remote coastal communities and right across Scotland.

“As we mark St Andrew’s Day, I pay tribute to our dedicated farmers and everyone working in the supply chain who are striving to meet the demand for the country’s favourite fish.”




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