The Food Marketing Institute (FMI), Arlington, Va., unveiled “The Power of Seafood” report, which explores seafood through the eyes of the shopper.

Seafood consumers shop around

Seafood consumers typically do not purchase all their seafood from one place. In fact, only 34% of seafood consumers purchase all their seafood from their primary store. Aside from their primary seafood store, consumers shop for their seafood at a wide variety of other places, such as seafood markets, but not online. While some consumers buy seafood when it is on sale, they are more likely to buy based on quality. In fact, product quality ranks highest among the Top 10 factors impacting the seafood purchase decision.  

“The United States Department of Agriculture recommends eating seafood at least twice per week, but only 21% of adults eat seafood the recommended two times per week. The consumption of seafood by consumers in the U.S. falls significantly behind poultry, meat and pork, with consumption around 16 pounds per year, compared to more than 100 pounds of other animal proteins,” says Rick Stein, vice president of fresh foods. “In fact, 44% of adults are not even frequent or occasional seafood consumers, eating seafood less than once per month. The food retail industry has an opportunity to educate consumers on how to buy, cook and prepare seafood to help shoppers increase their consumption.”

Educating the consumer—they want to know more

Many aspects of seafood are uniquely complex for consumers – from the range of types and varieties, to knowing how to evaluate and buy seafood, to the different ways to prepare seafood. In fact, less than 30% of seafood consumers describe themselves as well-informed, and the majority of seafood consumers acknowledge they want to know more about all these aspects of seafood.