America is becoming more diverse and changes in taste, technology and households will shape the future of seafood eaters. As more baby boomers leave the scene, it’s millennials who are the peak spenders.

“We see year over year over year, there is this cohort aged 35 to 54 and they are going to be spending far more across categories including food expenditures than any other category.”  

Will Notini is Consumer Insights Manager at Chicago-based Technomic, a leading market tracker for over 50 years. He’s working with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to identify trends in seafood consumption and how best to position seafood in a changing marketplace.

One trend gaining traction is a preference for healthy proteins.

“We’re seeing that people are turning away from proteins such as beef and moving towards healthier proteins such as seafood and plant based proteins. We’re seeing significant increases among those particular categories.  So seafood should expect to see significant growth.”   

There’s been a 30 percent increase in seafood consumption by millennials in the past year and 70% have changed their diets to eat healthier. Technomic surveys showed that 71 percent said they are more interested in where their foods come from and how it is grown or produced.

 “There is a higher attention paid to where their food is coming from, what’s in the food, one of the biggest things that consumers are looking for is what’s in their food. Looking on the label and seeing the ingredient list, can they pronounce it, have they seen it before, do they know the place it’s coming from – all of these are tools that consumers use to identify what in their mind is healthy, and it is familiar and not processed.”  

Nearly 40 percent prefer wild seafood over farmed and said it’s important that their choices don’t hurt the environment.

 “In general, wild is the greater draw for consumers. And I think that Alaska seafood is one of the labels that really speaks to the premium of wild caught. But I think there is some education for the consumer that needs to happen in order to access the true value in wild caught versus farm raised.”  

Notini says Alaska seafood is very ‘on trend’ in hitting the points consumers are tuned into. There may be some challenges with the growth of e-commerce shopping but he believes Alaska seafood is better positioned than most other seafoods.  Digital grocery usage last year was at 23 percent – 43 percent of Americans do their online shopping in bed.

Find links to the Seafood Consumer of the Future report here – 

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