High prices putting Norwegians off seafood, report finds

Woman cooking salmon in a pan

If there is one country where fish should be more affordable it is Norway, but not so, says the Norwegian Seafood Council. Despite being one of the world’s great seafood producers, prices for the most popular species have risen sharply over the past few years – and Norwegians are eating less seafood as a result.

Fresh salmon, the most popular species, has increased by 42% since 2019, while frozen cod fillets are up to 45% more expensive.

The one exception is shellfish which has not risen so sharply. In a few cases prices were actually lower last year than in 2019.

The Seafood Council says: “According to new figures, the total purchase volume of seafood has fallen by 1.5% since 2022.

“At the same time as the amount of seafood purchased is decreasing, the price of seafood itself has also risen considerably.

“That Norwegians eat less and less seafood has already been a fact for several years – and is now getting extra help from (recent) expensive times and rising food prices.”

The country spent NOK 12.7bn (just short of £1bn) on fish last year, some 8% higher than the 2022 figure, but that is because prices were at least 9.3% higher rather than because volumes increased.

Trym Eidem Gundersen, Seafood Council’s Nordic director stressed that without such large price increases, the figures could have been even more gloomy:

“Although consumption has decreased somewhat, one could have expected a larger drop due to the price increase,” said Gundersen.

“Despite a year of solid price increases for several seafood categories, consumption has not fallen by more than 1.5%.

“Such a large jump in price could have resulted in lower figures for purchases. This suggests that there is still considerable willingness to buy seafood.

“This also confirms our insight, which shows that seven out of 10 [Norwegians] want to eat more fish and shellfish.”

 

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