Seafood Industry Trends 2023: 5 Things to Look Out For
2023 promises to be another big year for the seafood industry. We’ve put together a list of the five top seafood industry trends based on our understanding of what’s likely to happen. If you’d like to understand the seafood industry trends for 2023, read on.
1. Expect Seafood Consumption in the US to Grow (And the Market to Grow)
The global seafood industry is expected to grow again in 2023, with analysts predicting an increase of between 3.4% and 7.4%. That’s not unusual, as the global seafood market has grown yearly, and there’s no reason to expect 2023 to be any different.
Seafood consumption in the US will also grow. Statista has estimated that the average volume per person in the Fish and Seafood segment totaled 2.9 kg in 2022. The same article puts the volume growth for the market as a whole at 4.9% in 2023. That’s a sizable increase, but what is driving the change apart from population growth?
2. Seafood Will Continue to Grow as an Important Clean Eating Option
The interest in pescatarian diets will continue to increase. A pescatarian diet goes without meat from land animals but does include seafood. Many see pescetarianism as a more appealing option than vegetarianism or veganism, both of which remain relatively unpopular as a percentage of the overall population in the US.
Full or partial pescetarianism is seen as a healthier option compared to the overconsumption of red meats. Fish is widely known to aid weight loss (when eaten in place of less healthy options) and carries a range of health benefits. It’s also a vital component of the Mediterranean diet, expected to remain popular in 2023.
3. Sustainable Seafood Will Be on the Agenda in 2023
Sustainability will be on the agenda in 2023, affecting all industries. The seafood industry is no exception, and there will be pressure on those that overfish from depleted stocks or use environmentally unfriendly catch methods.
Consumers will expect companies in the seafood industry to commit to fishing in a safe, environmentally conscious, and socially responsible way. There will also be growth in the importance of organizations that support sustainable fishing, such as the Global Seafood Alliance, the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative, and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership.
4. World Events Like COVID-19 and the War in Ukraine Will Have an Impact
The war in Ukraine, which shows no sign of a swift resolution, will continue to impact the seafood industry. The effect will be especially large in the EU. A 2022 report explains how the war has increased the price of energy and raw materials, which has led to higher operating costs for fishers, aquaculture farmers, and fish-processing companies.
Analysts expect the war in Ukraine to continue to affect operating costs and inflation well into 2023.
And while COVID-19 is beginning to feel like a distant memory to some of us, current events in China remind us that the virus continues to shape the world that we live in today. Though a return to the strictest lockdown measures feels unlikely, at least in the US, lockdowns in other countries that would affect the seafood supply chain cannot be completely ruled out just yet.
5. The Demand for Seaweed as a Food Source Will Grow
Outside of sushi, seaweed has never been a particularly popular food choice in the US. But signs show that this might be beginning to change. Seaweed is recognized to have a range of health benefits and has been a widely-eaten part of Japanese and Chinese cuisines for hundreds of years.
Promisingly, seaweed also has environmental benefits and is considered a sustainable crop in the right conditions. In 2022, seaweed was the fastest-growing aquaculture sector. Food innovators are continuing to experiment with seaweed. It has been touted as a potential replacement for methylcellulose (an impossible burger ingredient) and as a greenhouse gas-reducing additive to cow feed.
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