«Germany has become Norway’s most important market,» says market manager Bjørn-Erik Stabell in the Seafood Council. The Germans’ consumption of Norwegian salmon is more than two kilos per year per inhabitant.
Russia used to be big, but does not currently import Norwegian fish. China has also reduced its import, but several other European and Asian countries are on the rise. Germany is at the top, and analysts think that the Germans’ consumption of Norwegian salmon will increase to three kilos per inhabitant.
The Germans prefer fresh salmon that is individually packed. The increase in sales started as soon as the supermarkets started buying this product, and the salmon industry is now developing new products that are similar in terms of both convenience, look - and price.
Because salmon is three times more expensive than chicken in Germany, it is important that the product is highly visible in the stores. This is supported by TV ads that explain how the salmon is prepared, and that it comes from clean waters.
Last year, the Germans ate approximately 200 000 tons of salmon, which is a record. 75 percent came from Norway.
«The industry has done a lot within product development, and they have invested a lot of work in getting the products delivered fast enough, and distributed to a high number of stores,» Stabell explains.
In the years to come, the salmon industry plans to invest more in the German and French markets. The Seafood Council predicts that there will be a strong growth in Asia, where countries such as Japan, India and Indonesia are expected to increase, and China to eventually follow.
The U.S.’ consumption of Norwegian salmon has also increased. In 2014, 28.000 tons of salmon with a value of NOK 1,9 billion was exported to the U.S. During the first two months of 2015 the sale has been particularly good, Stabell tells Aftenposten.