Information on fish consumption and buying behavior from fishmongers and restaurants




Gunnþórunn Einarsdóttir, Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir, Emilia Martinsdóttir

Supported by:

AVS Fisheries Research Fund


Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir

Project Manager

Information on fish consumption and buying behavior from fishmongers and restaurants

The project "Attitudes and fish consumption of young people: Improving the image of seafood" aims, among other things, to gather information on the attitudes and fish consumption of young people. Questionnaires on various issues concerning fish consumption and young people's buying behavior were submitted to 14 fishmongers and five restaurants in the capital area at the end of 2005. This report summarizes information based on these parties' information and their views on young people's fish consumption. Some of the fishmongers expressed their concern about the tender specifications for the pre-schools and primary schools in Reykjavík, which were later found to be not good enough and clear enough, but it is very important to have clear definitions of what fresh ingredients are. This is important in light of the fact that some fishmongers say they know of examples where parents stop cooking fish at home where their children get it at school. The questions that must then arise are: How is fish in schools? Do the kids eat the fish at school? It seems to be different what people think the fish is expensive. The majority of people find it too expensive and there are examples of it comparing the price of fish with other foods. The fishmongers who have "gourmet fish shops", ie. are almost exclusively with ready-made fish dishes, but say they do not feel that people complain about the price. The people who come to them know what they are doing and are willing to pay for it. From the responses from the restaurants, it is clear that sales of fish dishes have increased over the years. Most fishmongers and restaurant owners agree that all fish and seafood commercials are good.

There is a consensus that fish and other seafood contain nutrients that have a positive effect on public health and consumption should thus be promoted. The overall objective of the project Young consumer attitudes and fish consumption: Improved image of seafood is to find ways to increase seafood consumption. This report discusses a particular survey, which was carried out in the project with the aim of gaining information about the purchasing and consumption behavior, as well as preferences especially of young consumers, with regard to seafood. Fishmongers, restaurateurs and caterers and others who have the occupation of dealing in fish and seafood, are among those believed to possess valuable information about consumer behavior in this respect. In order to tap into this data, a questionnaire was devised and 14 fishmongers, chosen by random selection, were visited and interviewed. The same questionnaire was also used to gain information from randomly selected restaurants that offer seafood, as well as managers at preschool- and compulsory school canteens. The many issues brought up by the questionnaire included purchasing behavior, quality, preferences, pricing etc. Some fishmongers voiced complaints about how Reykjavik City Treasury handled tendering procedures, especially the manner in which tender specification with regard to seafood for preschool- and compulsory school canteens has been carried out. The fishmongers claimed that the tender specifications regarding quality, freshness etc. were incomplete. Following these complaints, an informal investigation into the matter revealed that the criticism had some valid grounds.

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