Shoppers’ spend on eco-labelled fish has increased for a fourth year running, according to new research by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
Total spend on seafood carrying the MSC ecolabel in the UK exceeded half a billion pounds (£754m) in the year 2016/17, a 48% increase on the £509m spent the previous year. It means that £1 out of every £5 spent in UK supermarkets on seafood went on MSC certified sustainable fish.
Millenials were more likely to choose certified fish than older shoppers with 52% of 18-34 year olds stating they prefer to choose ecolabelled fish and seafood in comparison to 37% of those over 55 years old in the UK.
Consumers looking to choose MSC certified fish have more choice than ever with the quantity of MSC certified products up 20% year on year. Among UK retailers, Sainsbury’s leads the way with over 200 certified products, followed by Waitrose, Tesco Lidl and Aldi.
In the out of home sector MSC highlighted brands such as Wahaca, McDonald’s and Ikea as having strong commitments to sustainable seafood and noted that fish and chip shops are also upping their commitments with over 100 in the UK using the ‘blue fish label’ on their fish.
“The fact is that UK shoppers value sustainable credentials above price and brand,” said Toby Middleton, UK programme director for MSC. “We are delighted that the younger generation care about sustainable seafood – they are the shoppers of the future. With this year’s increase of restaurants, brands, and supermarkets using the MSC blue fish label, we can all help to drive sustainable fishing.”
The statistics form part of a new report from the MSC which outlines its plans for the future and includes a target to engage 20% of marine catch by 2020.