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Demand for fish back to normal level

fish international acts as trend barometer | New offers for exhibitors and visitors

06, Jul 2022

After a strong growth in demand during the Corona period, German interest in fish has returned to pre-pandemic levels. This is shown by a new representative consumer survey by the Norwegian Seafood Council. Germany Director Kristin Pettersen plans to present the results in detail during an event at fish international from 4 to 6 September at Messe Bremen.

The current survey shows that the fish and seafood pandemic has not led to a fundamental rethink among consumers, Kristin Pettersen concludes. According to the Norwegian Seafood Council, other food sectors - especially organic products - were able to maintain their gains from the past two years. According to the study, there are two main arguments why consumers in Germany do not want to eat more fish in the future. "Either they are convinced that they already eat enough fish," says Kristin Pettersen, "or they say they do not want to contribute to overfishing of the oceans.

FIZ: Increase in consumption was a special effect during the pandemic period
The disproportionate increase in fish consumption was a non-reproducible special effect as a result of the pandemic, according to the Fish Information Centre (FIZ) in Hamburg. According to the latest FIZ statistics, fish consumption in Germany returned to pre-Corona levels in the first five months of 2022. Accordingly, consumption fell slightly compared to the same period in 2019; in return, however, consumers spent more on fish. "The willingness of customers to spend more shows us that they continue to value fish and seafood highly," says managing director Matthias Keller. FIZ plans to present its current figures and assessment of the development in detail in August.

Digital "matchmaking tool" puts exhibitors and visitors in touch with each other
As the only German trade fair for fish and seafood, fish international in Bremen is traditionally the place where the industry meets more or less completely and presents the latest trends and developments. To enable participants to plan their visit to fish international better and use their time intensively for targeted discussions, Messe Bremen has set up a new digital tool: Via a meeting platform on the fish website, the so-called "Seafood Business Meeting", exhibitors and visitors can arrange targeted meetings. "In this way, not only can the time at the fair be used more efficiently, but the new offer also leads to new and interesting contacts that one might not have made during a classic tour," Sabine Wedell, project manager of fish international, is convinced.

Newcomer Area gives innovative ideas and entrepreneurs plenty of space
Another innovation at this year's fish international is the Newcomer Area. It is specially designed for companies and start-ups that are coming to the fair for the first time with innovative products. Among the first exhibitors to book a place there are "Crushi" from the Netherlands and "Happy Ocean Foods" from Munich. The Dutch have developed a new form of sushi, which are coated with a crispy layer on the outside. The special thing about it: the rolls in three different flavours are delivered deep-frozen and baked for a few minutes in highly heated oil before being eaten. "Crushi" is already successful in several European countries and is now being introduced in Germany for the first time. Happy Ocean Foods has developed a vegan alternative to crustaceans. The "shrymps" of the start-up from the Bavarian capital consist exclusively of plant-based ingredients, but taste (almost) like the original and can also be prepared in a similar variety of ways as shrimp.

Packaging under cleanroom conditions and more
However, fish international not only shows many new products, but also interesting "new hardware developments". One of the highlights is certainly the "Robotik-Pack-Line" (www.robotik-pack-line-en) developed by a consortium of industry and science. The fully automatic packaging line has been specially developed for products with very high hygiene requirements. On this packing line, robots take over the function of the employees who would otherwise have filled the goods by hand. From product delivery to closed vacuum or modified atmosphere packaging, the sensitive goods are not touched by human hands. Where it is moved openly within the system, cleanroom conditions also prevail that rule out any conceivable contamination.

Japanese Kaitai show as an exclusive visitor experience at fish international
This year's edition of fish international is also breaking new ground in knowledge transfer and visitor appeal. The Spanish fishing company Balfego, the fish trading company Zeelandia voan Belzen (Willich) and the fish manufacturer Deutsche See (Bremerhaven) have brought a Japanese Kaitai show to Bremen that is rarely seen in Europe. During this traditional ceremony, the Japanese kaitai master Kozo Ohgata cuts up a bluefin tuna weighing 150 to 200 kilograms. For the spectators, the show of perfect knife handling is not only an impressive experience, but also very informative. "Both restaurateurs and traders can learn more here in 45 minutes than ever before about the pleasure experience that a bluefin tuna offers their guests and customers," promises Christian van Belzen.

Bluefin tuna is one of the most valuable edible fish in the world. For an animal weighing 150 to 200 kilograms, as is the focus of the Kaitai ceremony at fish international, fishermen usually fetch several thousand euros. Particularly valuable is meat from fish that - as at Balfego - are slaughtered using the Japanese Ikejime technique. This stress-free method for the animals results in a particularly good-tasting end product.


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