Salmon leaps tuna to become nation’s favourite fish dish

SCOTTISH fisheries could reap the benefits as demand for salmond is driven by health and value concerns.

Fishing at sea. Photo: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Sales of fresh salmon have soared recently, driven by demand from health-conscious shoppers and a raft of deals making it more affordable.

Industry experts said salmon has been challenging tuna’s dominance for some time but it is now expected to surge in front by the end of the year.

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The new research shows families are increasingly choosing to serve up fish dishes at home, with demand outpacing that for meat and poultry alternatives.

“The big news in fish this year is that salmon is set to displace tuna as the UK’s favourite fish,” according to trade magazine The Grocer. “Despite being one of the pricier proteins, it has continued to outperform meat and poultry over the past year, with strong value growth in a deflationary market.”

Fresh fish sales rose by 3.6 per cent to £1.68 billion in the past year, with volumes up 1.6 per cent and average prices up two per cent.

Richard Watson, market analyst for seafood authority Seafish, is predicting salmon volumes will overtake tuna by the end of the year.

He said: “Tuna is currently ranked number one in retail by volume but has experienced significant decline.

“Tuna has been hit hard by rising energy and raw material costs, driving inflation and sustainability issues hitting the news.”

In contrast, salmon – a major industry for Scotland – is perceived as healthier and more sustainable, with supermarket deals bringing prices down.

Mr Watson said fresh fish has been experiencing consistent growth since the recession, despite average prices rising 20 per cent.

He attributes this to shoppers considering fresh fish to be “high quality and healthy”.