Wild Versus Farmed Salmon - Consumer Segments

Part
01
of one
Part
01

Wild Versus Farmed Salmon - Consumer Segments

Extensive searches across seafood-related reports and databases in public did not reveal any demographic data for this specific consumer segment; however, most reports include general seafood consumption information, which contains data about salmons, tunas, shrimps, etc. Interestingly, consumers surveyed by the Food Marketing Institute showed that salmon is often consumed (29%) versus 30% raw shrimp, and 45% tuna. In this regard, salmon ranks high among the most consumed seafood products; hence, it is assumed that the general seafood demographics data include statistics for salmon.

SEAFOOD CONSUMPTION OVERVIEW

  • Based on all reports surveyed, it was found out that seafood consumption data is not broken down by the amount of seafood a given age group consumes against another, but based on the frequency of consumption, i.e., how many times per week does a given demographic consume seafood.
  • According to findings published in Supermarket News, which provides competitive business intelligence, news and information in the food retail and grocery sector noted that frequent seafood consumers are predominantly male, have higher incomes, are more likely to be college graduates, and likely to live alone.
  • In this regard, in-depth data on seafood consumers' demographics, specifically for seafood products such as tuna, salmon, shrimps, etc., is not readily available; thus, the findings presented below provide a general overview of seafood consumers.

SEAFOOD CONSUMER DEMOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS

  • Results based on data collected from 2013-2016 indicate that 5.6% of youth aged 2–19 years consumed seafood at least two times per week. On the other hand, 20.1% of adults aged above 20 years ate seafood at least twice per week.
  • The most recent Food Marketing Institute report noted that a larger percentage of Baby Boomers than the general population consume seafood frequently, while a smaller percentage of millennials do.
  • According to the latest Food Marketing Institute report, 36% of seafood consumers are Baby Boomers versus 28% non-seafood consumers and are likely to consume seafood at least once or many times a month. Equally, 27% of millennials consumer seafood at least once or many times a month, while 20% consume seafood at least two or more times per week versus 35% non-seafood millennials consumers.
  • The report further noted that seafood consumers are likely to be male at 54%, and 58% of them consumer seafood frequently versus 44% non-seafood male consumers.
  • 50% of Seafood consumers in the U.S. are more likely to be college graduates versus 35% non-seafood consumers. Moreover, these individuals are more likely to live alone (24%) versus 19% non-seafood college graduates, have no children (65%) versus 59% non-seafood consumers.

SEAFOOD CONSUMPTION BY REGION

  • According to a Statista report about frequency of at-home seafood consumption among consumers in the U.S. as of 2018, in the Midwest region, 48% of consumers frequently consume seafood, 19% moderately, 25% infrequently, and 9% are non-eaters.
  • In the Northeast region, 55% of consumers eat seafood frequently, 18% moderately, 20% infrequently, and 7% are non-eaters.
  • In the Southwest region, 51% of consumers take seafood frequently, 19% moderately, 22% infrequently, and 8% are non-eaters.
  • In the Southeast region, 51% of consumers eat seafood frequently, 21% moderately, 22% infrequently, and 6% are non-eaters.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CONSUMERS OF WILD-CAUGHT VERSUS FARMED SEAFOOD

  • A Nielsen report indicated that seafood with the “wild-caught” claim is likely to spark a purchase, according to 56% of consumers surveyed, who noted that the claim makes them more likely to make a purchase. Importantly, the claim resonates most with older Asian and Hispanic households with an average income of $70,000.
  • 57% of consumers earning from $70k to $100k and 62% of consumers who earn over $100k prefer wild-caught seafood versus farm-raised. Likewise, 60% of startup families, 59% of senior couples, and 59% of senior singles also prefer wild-caught seafood versus farm-raised.
  • Based on race, 63% of Asians and 60% of Hispanics show more preference for wild-caught seafood compared to farm-raised. In terms of education, 61% of college graduates are more likely to purchase wild-caught seafood compared to farm-raised. Lastly, 59% of individuals aged 65 and above prefer wild-caught seafood versus farm-raised.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

Our search for the demographic profile of U.S. consumers of salmon commenced with thorough searches across several government databases and agencies like the CDC (centers for disease control and prevention), the Atlantic Salmon Foundation, the Aquaculture Fish Farming Associations, and the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization. Unluckily, none of them featured demographic data on the U.S. salmon consumer segment. Their information mainly revolves around salmon fish rearing and general statistics, including import data and segmentation based on the region of origin. We only retrieved a 1989 report on salmon consumers in the U.S. published by Canada Fisheries and Oceans. But judging from the age of the report, it is unlikely that its information reflects the current demographic profile of U.S. consumers of salmon.

The scanty information on the demographic profile of U.S. consumers of salmon in government and industry databases instigated search attempts on third party sources. Hence, we continued to check for the data on market research vendors and industry news outlets such as Nielsen, Market Watch, Statista, IBIS World, Food Marketing Institute, Seafood Source, Intrafish, Seafood News, and American Sea Foods. We hoped to find data on the demographic profile of U.S. consumers of salmon but found data on the demographic profile of U.S. seafood consumers in general. For instance, the Nielsen report featured comprehensive data on differences exhibited by different generation regarding wild-caught and farm-raised seafood products. We adopted the data as a proxy since we could not find salmon-specific data. Equally, the Statista report featured a 2018 analysis of the "frequency of at-home seafood consumption among consumers in the U.S. by region. The data is also included to provide a general overview of U.S. seafood consumption by region, i.e., Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest.

Third, we decided to search for information on consumer profiles of brands that sell wild-caught or farmed salmon along with articles, blogs, and news published by consumer retail outlets. We checked several customer reviews on the best salmon products published by sites like Amazon, Kitchenbyte, and Food Shark Marfa. Further, we explored consumer news articles and blogs on seafood published by retail outlets such as Supermarket News. These sources only featured general data regarding U.S. seafood consumers and mentions about the popularity of salmon. So, we concluded that salmon-specific data on consumer demographics is not available in public. The information is likely unavailable since no recent report appears to have studied that specific consumer segment because the closest data we came across is around 30 years old.

Overall, most of the sources we examined contained some demographic data primarily on seafood consumer profiles and not specific to salmon. Therefore, we decided to adopt those findings as representative of the demographic profile of U.S. consumers of salmon, which is among the top three most consumed seafood products.
Sources
Sources

Quotes
  • "Unlike “farm raised,” consumers are very aware of the “wild caught” claim, and this claim is more likely to spark a purchase, as 56% of consumers stated that it makes them more likely to make a purchase. But which consumers will this message resonate with the most? For “wild caught,” the claim resonates most with households making $70,000 and over per year, older and Asian and Hispanic households."
  • "It’s also worth noting that retailers should be capitalizing on the protein content in seafood, which is something many consumers are actively seeking out, but not always aware of. For example, in a recent study, we found that consumers recognized salmon as a good source of protein, but didn’t know that shrimp is as well."
Quotes
  • "In 2013–2016, 20.1% of adults consumed seafood at least two times per week. More than 40% of non-Hispanic Asian adults (41.2%) consumed seafood at least two times per week, more than non-Hispanic white (18.7%), non-Hispanic black (22.6%), and Hispanic (14.5%) adults."
  • "The percentage of adults who consumed seafood at least two times per week increased with age: 17.4% among persons aged 20–39, 20.4% among persons aged 40–59, and 23.3% among persons aged 60 and over."
Quotes
  • "Seafood consumers are a fairly small group compared to those who buy beef, pork and chicken. But they’re also a lucrative group that spends more money on groceries each week and are therefore worth courting, according to a recent Food Marketing Institute report."
  • "Frequent seafood consumers tend to have higher incomes, skew male, are more likely to be college graduates and are more likely to live alone. A larger percentage of Baby Boomers than the general population eat seafood frequently, and a smaller percentage of Millennials do."
Quotes
  • "Only one in five adults (21%) can be classified as frequent seafood eaters. 44% eat seafood less than once a month or never."
  • "Seafood consumers are lucrative segment of shoppers. Compared to non-seafood consumers, seafood consumers: Spend more per week on groceries ($129/week seafood, $143/week frequent vs. $116/week non)"
Quotes
  • "RaboResearch Food and Agribusiness’s “Keeping Salmon on the Top of the Menu” analysis explains that aquaculture has become a key alternative to terrestrial animal proteins, and that with efficient feed conversion ratios, lower environmental impact, and no apparent animal welfare issues, and as a good source of lean protein, it has successfully met consumer needs. "
  • "Currently, the European Union is the biggest market for Atlantic salmon. It is the third-most consumed seafood species after tuna and cod, but it has experienced the highest demand growth in the last decade. "