UK shoppers care more about the sustainability of fish than price

Posted: 18 July 2016 | Victoria White, Digital Content Producer | No comments yet

A new global analysis shows that UK shoppers are more concerned with preserving the oceans than price and brand when buying seafood…

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A global analysis of attitudes to seafood consumption shows that UK shoppers are more concerned with preserving the oceans than price and brand when buying seafood.


The survey, carried out on behalf of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), shows that over half of British seafood consumers are willing to pay more for certified sustainable seafood. Over three quarters of respondents to the survey agreed that shoppers should consume seafood from sustainable sources.

The survey also showed that concerns about sustainability stretch across the age ranges. 18-34 year olds demonstrated not only concerns about the traceability of the fish they buy today but also a desire to preserve stocks for tomorrow. More than two thirds claim they want to know the fish they buy is traceable and recognise that  buying eco-labelled fish ensures there will be fish left for future generations. They are also more likely to trust a product’s origins if it has an ecolabel

Older shoppers seem the most willing to take their concerns a step further and change their behaviour to ensure the fish they eat is exclusively eco-friendly. The vast majority say we need to eat only sustainable seafood.

Survey results “incredibly encouraging”

Commenting on the results of the analysis, Toby Middleton, UK Programme Director for MSC, says: “It’s incredibly encouraging to see that shoppers are choosing sustainability over brand and particularly price when buying seafood. The good news is that as more and more supermarkets and fish and chip shops adopt MSC certification, shoppers will have a greater range of sustainable brands to choose from to suit all pockets – from Lidl to Selfridges.”

Concerns about sustainability have a direct impact on shopping habits; a third of consumers say they purchase more ecolabelled fish products now than a year ago and this is backed by data that shows that £1 in 6 spent on seafood in UK supermarkets is now spent on an MSC labelled product. Further data shows that over the previous year, sales of consumer goods from brands with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability grew by more than 4% globally, while those without grew less than 1%.

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