By: Rick Stein, Vice President, Fresh Foods, FMI
POS 2021 Infographic Instagram

Our 2021 Power of Seafood report finds the biggest reason behind an increase in grocery seafood sales is consumers are trying to eat healthier (59%). In fact, 72% of frequent seafood consumers are putting more effort into making healthy and nutritious choices since the COVID-19 pandemic. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consumers enjoy of two servings of seafood per week and acknowledged the benefits of the healthy fats found in seafood.  

Just how committed are seafood shoppers to experimenting? Are they willing to step out of the ocean and try something from, say, the land?

Companies have been developing plant-based burgers and meats alternatives for a while and many have succeeded in tempting the most ardent meat-lover to try plant-based meat alternatives. Seafood consumers are ripe for exploring plant-based fish alternatives, which many shoppers perceive to be healthy, but will they dive in? The answer seems to depend.

Testing the Waters

According to 2021 Power of Seafood, 46% of seafood consumers are likely to try plant-based seafood alternatives. Most frequent seafood consumers (59%) say they are likely to try plant-based seafood alternatives while only about one-third of occasional seafood consumers (34%) are likely. Most non-seafood consumers are not likely (50%) or not sure (22%) if they will try plant-based fish alternatives. 

Joining the School

Shoppers willing to try plant-based seafood alternatives tend to skew male and average 40 years of age with affluent household incomes, higher education levels and children in their household. These shoppers shop in-store frequently, but also purchase groceries online including seafood, and tend to spend more than the average on groceries weekly.  

Driving the Current

Shoppers interested in plant-based fish alternatives are also concerned about nutritious and healthy eating (57%) and sustainability (62%). More than half (54%) also had high expectations for the taste of plant-based fish. Curiosity was also a reason for 35% of seafood shoppers to consider trying plant-based fish alternatives.

Moving ashore?

Well, without product on the market to test it remains to be seen. There are some strong trends around health and well-being and sustainability for plant-based protein companies to benefit from. However, companies will have to match shoppers’ perceptions of plant-based products already on the market when it comes to taste, convenience and culinary experience in order to win over shoppers.

Download the must-read 2021 Power of Seafood for insights on health and well-being, cooking seafood, sustainability, and much more.

Download 2021 Power of Seafood