Department of Management

A survey of Danish consumers' purchase of seafood

Research output: Working paperResearch

  • Klaus G. Grunert
  • Søren Bisp, Denmark
  • Lone Bredahl, Denmark
  • Elin Sørensen, Denmark
  • Niels Asger Nielsen, Denmark
  • Department of Marketing and Statistics
  • MAPP - Centre for Research on Customer Relations in the Food Sector
Executive summary 1. Danish consumption of seafood is difficult to estimate reliably. A qualified estimate would put it at 21-22 kgs landed weight per capita per annum, with a slightly increasing tendency. Tinned fish is the most popular type of product, followed by fresh fish, frozen fish, smoked fish, shelled prawns, and ready-cooked fish meals. 2. Fresh fish is mainly bought at the fishmonger's, but a considerable proportion consists of van sales, fish bought from friends and relatives, fishermen at the harbour, and own catches. When asked about their preferred point of purchase for fresh fish, consumers put the fishmonger and the fisherman at the harbour at the top, with 42% and 32% respectively. This can be interpreted as expressing consume desire to be as close to the landing time as possible. 3. Initiatives to increase Danish consumption of seafood should take account of the following: ­ The main problem with fresh fish is access. Many consumers find it difficult to buy, prepare, and eat fresh fish. ­ It is not enough just to sell fresh fish in supermarkets. Many consumers think that supermarkets do not have the necessary expertise to handle and sell fresh fish. ­ Increasing access by filleting and deep-freezing fish is no solution. Many consumers perceive frozen fish as a different product from fresh fish; they doubt that frozen fish is as healthy and natural as fresh fish. ­ The family motive plays a central role in the purchase of seafood. While many consumers think that seafood is good for the family, they also think that the inconvenience of and time spent on shopping, preparation and consumption will have a negative effect on the family's well-being. ­ It is a waste of time emphasising how healthy and nutritious seafood is ­ all consumers know that seafood is good for you. However, many perceive frozen fish as being less healthy than fresh fish. ­ Purchasing behaviour for seafood varies from segment to segment; not all segments are equally inclined to increase their consumption of seafood, and not all segments can be reached with the same marketing strategy. The eco-moderates and the rational (20% and 11% of the population respectively) have the biggest potential for fresh fish, while the careless and the adventurous (23 25% respectively) have the biggest potential for frozen fish. The biggest potential for shellfish (prawns) lies in the adventurous (25%), the careless (23%), and the conservative (11%) segments. 4. Marketing should therefore increase access and at the same time preserve the perception of freshness, naturalness, and being close to primary production. It must underline the family motive and ignore health-related aspects. Both the marketed products and market communication should be adapted to one more of the six Danish consumer segments.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherAarhus School of Business, MAPP Centre
Publication statusPublished - 1996

    Research areas

  • HHÅ forskning, MAPP

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