Reports

Branding Sea Urchin for the NPA (Northern Periphery and Arctic) Regions

Published:

01/04/2018

Authors:

Holly T. Kristinsson, Guðmundur Stefánsson

Supported by:

Northern Periphery and Arctic Program

contact

Guðmundur Stefánsson

Head Research Group Leader

gudmundur.stefansson@matis.is

Branding Sea Urchin for the NPA (Northern Periphery and Arctic) Regions

This report is part of the URCHIN project funded by the NPA Fund. The report describes the brand ideology and introduces ideas to have one common brand for sea urchins from the NPA (Northern Periphery and Arctic) countries. The report takes examples of others' good experience of using brands on expensive seafood, including sea urchins. Using a brand can be a good way to market sea urchins both in local markets (eg domestic) and in international markets. A company that acquires brands that gain favor with buyers and consumers can create a unique position and demand for branded products. In order for a brand to gain popularity, research is needed on potential customers to understand their needs and why they want sea urchins and what they expect from the products and the retailer, for example in terms of service. Without a brand, it is difficult to separate the product and the company from the competitors and their products. Today, buyers and distributors of sea urchins have no way of associating increased quality with sea urchins from the NPA areas where brands are lacking. Manufacturers within the NPAs should consider branding policies when marketing sea urchins; a brand that is either based on the image of the company or the product. In order to be successful in brand building, you need to consider consumer research, IP licensing, marketing and the return on investment.

To supplement the NPA Report, Markets for Sea Urchins: A Review of Global Supply and Markets, this branding report sets out to explain the concept and elements of branding. Examples of successful branding of sea urchin and other high value seafood products are highlighted. Considerations and steps to building a brand are also discussed and can serve as a basis for brand strategy. Branding can be a way of promoting NPA sea urchin both locally and in international markets. It could be a solution to reduce the generic, anonymous sale and distribution of NPA sea urchins to Europe and other global markets. Establishing and maintaining a brand can create demand and differentiate a company and / or its products from competitors. Currently, branding of sea urchin is untapped and thus, there is significant branding potential. A brand is the over-all customer experience. It is how consumers feel or perceive your company and what you should offer in terms of services or products. Understanding who the consumers are and who would buy sea urchin and why, will be key in building and launching a sea urchin brand. To establish a brand acknowledged and known by customers, there must be sufficient research and a clear understanding of the target audience. Without a brand, it is difficult to differentiate a product or company from a competitor. Today, distributors, food service companies, restaurants, and other customers do not have a significant way to attach added value to NPA sea urchin. A unified vision and branding platform are needed to add value to the sea urchin. A key starting point for the NPA partners will be to consider a corporate and / or product branding strategy. Consumer research, a brand strategy, IP investigation, social and media marketing, and assessing return on investment (ROI) are fundamental to building a successful brand. With these building blocks and aspects in mind, the NPA can decide whether branding is a right fit and a sensible approach to creating increased value for the NPA regions, sea urchin fisheries, and small to medium enterprises (SMEs).

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Reports

Value adding technique - Drying of pelagic fish

Published:

13/12/2017

Authors:

Ásbjörn Jónsson, Cyprian Ogombe Odoli, Sigurjón Arason

Supported by:

AVS Fisheries Research Fund

contact

Sigurjón Arason

Chief Engineer

sigurjon.arason@matis.is

Value adding technique - Drying of pelagic fish

The aim of the project was to improve the processing process and the quality and safety of dried sardines produced in Kenya. Like looking at new products such as dried capelin from Iceland for possible export to Kenya. The results showed that it was possible to ensure the quality of dried products such as capelin in Iceland. During indoor drying, conditions such as temperature can be controlled, thus preventing protein deformation and fat development. The results also showed that sardines, which were dried outdoors in Kenya at higher temperatures compared to indoor drying, were of poorer quality, as protein deformation occurred along with evolution. On the other hand, market surveys in Kenya showed that a certain group of consumers liked dried capelin from Iceland and were willing to buy the product.

The objective of the project was to improve the process and quality and safety of dried sardines produced in Kenya. As well as introduce new products from Iceland like dried capelins a possible export to Kenya. Results showed that it was possible to control the quality of dried products like capelin in Iceland. By indoor drying, the conditions can be controlled, like temperature and providing denaturation of proteins and oxidation of fat. Results also showed that sardines dried in open air in Kenya with higher temperature compared with indoor drying, had lower quality, were denaturation of proteins and oxidation of fat occurred. Market research indicated that certain social groups of consumers in Kenya liked indoor drying capelin from Iceland, and were willing to by such product.

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Reports

Markets for Sea Urchins: A Review of Global Supply and Markets: Seafood Market and Market Overview

Published:

31/10/2017

Authors:

Guðmundur Stefánsson (Matís) Holly Kristinsson (Matís), Nikoline Ziemer (Royal Greenland), Colin Hannon (GMIT) and Philip James (NOFIMA)

Supported by:

Northern Periphery and Arctic Program 2014-2020

contact

Guðmundur Stefánsson

Head Research Group Leader

gudmundur.stefansson@matis.is

Markets for Sea Urchins: A Review of Global Supply and Markets: Seafood Market and Market Overview

Global supply of sea urchins has decreased in recent years due to declining catches, or from about 120 thousand tons in 1995 to the current average annual catch of about 75 thousand tons. Catches from major fishing nations such as Japan, Chile, the United States and partly Canada have declined. Russia and Peru are fishing more than they did in 1995, but no new major player has entered the market. The market for sea urchins is very traditional as Japan consumes about 80-90% of the total world catch. Some countries that fish for sea urchins, especially in Chile, New Zealand and the Philippines, have a domestic tradition of consumption. In Europe, the use of sea urchins is also traditional, especially in the Mediterranean countries Italy, France and Spain. Due to growing migration within Europe, for example, there are groups of people who know sea urchins in many countries, so there may be small local markets in various countries, but sea urchins are also considered both unusual and exciting. There is probably a need in the Japanese market for good sea urchins at the right price, especially given that there is less supply in the market. There may therefore be opportunities for new entrants to the market, for example from the NPA (Northern Periphery and Arctic areas), provided that they find an efficient transport route to Japan and manage to ensure a stable supply of sea urchins of the right quality. However, it must be borne in mind that the return price will not be as high as in the European market (France), where transport costs to Japan are high, prices are lower for imported products compared to domestic ones and processing costs for sea urchins must be assumed for sale. For countries such as Iceland, Greenland, Ireland and Norway, the most obvious option is to look at the French market. French fishing is now small compared to landings in the period 1970-1980 and the supply of sea urchins from other countries, such as Spain, is small. In recent years, Iceland has successfully exported sea urchins to France and is now the largest supplier on the market. The market in France, on the other hand, is small or estimated at 350-450 tonnes of sea urchins on an annual basis. There may be a need for more quantities of sea urchins on the market at the right price as the market was larger in previous years or about 1,000 tonnes. Italy can also be an option, but care must be taken as a large proportion of sea urchins on the Italian market are from illegal or unauthorized fishing. There may also be opportunities for the sale of sea urchins to the local high-quality restaurant market in Europe, for example in Scandinavia, Germany and England. Although the market pays well, it is equally difficult when it comes to constant demand while the sea urchins are of the right quality during the season.

Worldwide the supply of sea urchins has diminished in the last few years, from the peak landings of about 120 thousand tonnes in 1995 to the current levels of about 75 thousand tonnes. The traditional harvesters such as Japan, Chile, US and to a lesser level, Canada, have all experienced reduced catches. Russia and Peru are supplying larger quantities to the global market than they did in 1995, but no new major entrants have emerged in the last few years. The market for sea urchins is very traditional with Japan consuming about 80- 90% of the total current global supply. There is a domestic market in many sea urchins harvesting countries, especially in Chile, New Zealand and the Philippines. In Europe, the market is also traditional and is mainly in the Mediterranean countries, Italy, France and Spain. Sea urchins seem to be novel and trendy and due to growing ethnic populations, small niche markets may exist in various countries, including those in Europe. There is likely an unmet demand on the Japanese market for good quality sea urchin products at the appropriate price, particularly with less current supply to the market. This may indicate options for a new entrant eg from the Northern Periphery and Arctic areas, if a logistic route from harvest to market can be economically established and high consistent quality product supplied. However, the value of this product will never be as high as in the European (French) market. This is due to the logistics of getting the product to Japan, the lower value placed on any imported product in this market and the need to add processing costs to product prior to selling in the market. For the NPA countries Iceland, Greenland, Ireland and Norway, supplying to markets such as France is the obvious choice; the production in France is low compared to the relatively high landings in the 1970s and 1980s and supply from other countries eg Spain appears small. Iceland has in the past years successfully exported green sea urchins to the French market and is currently the main supplier to the market. The overall French market appears however to be small, or estimated as 350-450 tonnes of whole sea urchins based on harvest and import figures. There may be an unmet demand on the market, assuming an appropriate selling price, as there are indications that the supply to the market has been about 1,000 tonnes in the recent past. There may be options to supply to Italy as well but care must be taken in export as a large part of the current supply in Italy may be from illegal or unlicensed fisheries. There may also be options to supply the apparent emerging high end restaurant niche market in various European countries such as in Scandinavia, Germany and England. Although this market may be lucrative, it is at the same time quite unpredictable when it comes to regular supply during harvest.

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Reports

Research on the prevalence of Salmonella and Campylobacter in Icelandic chicken products on the consumer market

Published:

01/09/2013

Authors:

Eyjólfur Reynisson, Viggó Þór Marteinsson, Franklín Georgsson

Supported by:

Matís, Ministry of Industry and Innovation

contact

Viggó Marteinsson

Group Leader

viggo.th.marteinsson@matis.is

Research on the prevalence of Salmonella and Campylobacter in Icelandic chicken products on the consumer market 

With the adoption of most of the food rules and EU food legislation (178/2002 and 102/2010), it is clear that the import of fresh meat products to Iceland could become a reality, but so far the government has banned such imports altogether. In this context, there is a need to obtain data on the safety of Icelandic products on the market with regard to microbial contamination. Extensive data are available on the frequency of Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry farming in Iceland and at slaughter in recent years, but there has been a lack of information on the state of affairs in the consumer market. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate the frequency of these pathogens in Icelandic fresh chicken products on the market. A total of 537 samples were taken over a 12-month period from May 2012 to April 2013 from the country's three largest producers. 183 packs of whole chickens, 177 packs of breasts and 177 packs of wings were examined. All samples in the study were negative for both Salmonella and Campylobacter. It is therefore clear that the situation in these countries is very good and as good or better than what is happening in other countries.

With the adoption of the main parts of the EU food legislation (178/2002 and 102/2010) it is evident that import of fresh meat and poultry could be possible even though at present it is still prohibited by the Icelandic government. In this respect it is advisable to keep data on the safety of Icelandic products already on the market for current reference. Extensive data are available of the frequency of Salmonella and Campylobacter at the breeding and slaughtering steps in the poultry supply chain in Iceland but no systematic data collection has been done at the retail level in recent years. The aim of this study was therefore to estimate the frequency of contamination of the above mentioned pathogens in consumer packs of Icelandic poultry production. A total of 537 samples were collected in a 12 month period from May 2012 to April 2013 from the three largest domestic producers. Total of 183 packs of whole chicken were analyzed, 177 packs of fillets and 177 packs of wing cuts. All samples measured negative both for Salmonella and Campylobacter. It is therefore confirmed that the monitoring scheme and intervention policy in Icelandic poultry production is effective and that the status of contamination of these pathogens in fresh retail poultry packs is as good as, or better than in other EU states.

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Reports

Icelandic baby food - market and public requirements

Published:

01/04/2011

Authors:

Þóra Valsdóttir, Rakel Eva Sævarsdóttir, Gunnþórunn Einarsdóttir, Guðjón Þorkelsson, Aðalheiður Ólafsdóttir, Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir

Supported by:

Agricultural Productivity Fund

contact

Þóra Valsdóttir

Project Manager

thora.valsdottir@matis.is

Icelandic baby food - market and public requirements

Baby food refers to food that is specifically intended for infants and young children, with the exception of milk mixtures that are to replace breast milk. There are many things to consider before starting the production of baby food. Toddlers and infants are much more vulnerable in every way than adults. High demands are therefore made on safe production. Icelandic raw materials, especially vegetables and lamb, are well suited for the production of baby food because here the use of pesticides in agriculture is less than in most places and contaminants and pollutants are kept to a minimum. The results of discussion groups for parents of young children and toddlers indicate that there are opportunities to bring new, Icelandic products to market. In particular, there seems to be a lack of more types of baby food than are already available, but there are also opportunities to adapt the packaging and portion sizes of traditional Icelandic food to the needs of young children and toddlers. Purchased baby food has a negative connotation in the minds of many. In order for a new product intended for young and young children to be successful, it is first and foremost important to build trust in the brand among the buyers.

Baby food is food which is specially aimed towards infants and toddlers, excluding infant formulas which are replacement for breast milk. Many things have to be considered before starting producing baby food. Infants and toddlers are much more susceptive than grown-ups. High demands are therefore on safety of the production. Icelandic raw material, especially vegetables and lamb meat, are well suited for baby food as in Iceland the use of pesticides in agriculture is much lower than in most countries and pollution levels are low. Results from focus group discussions among Icelandic parents indicate that there are opportunities for new, Icelandic products on the market. There is especially a need for more variety but there is as well a market for existing Icelandic products in more suitable form and packaging for infants and toddlers. Processed baby food has negative image in the eyes of many parents. For new baby food products to succeed it is essential to build up a trust among parents on the integrity of the producer and quality of the products.

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Reports

Production of salted fish in the Nordic countries. Variation in quality and characteristics of the salted products

Published:

01/12/2010

Authors:

Kristín Anna Þórarinsdóttir, Ingebrigt Bjørkevoll, Sigurjón Arason

Supported by:

NORA (Journal No. 510-036)

contact

Sigurjón Arason

Chief Engineer

sigurjon.arason@matis.is

Production of salted fish in the Nordic countries. Variation in quality and characteristics of the salted products

The Nordic countries are the largest exporters of salted gadoid products, whereas countries in South ‐ Europe and Latin America are the biggest importers. In Norway, Iceland and Faroe Islands, cod is primarily used for the production. The characteristics of the salted fish, such as commercial quality and weight yield vary between the countries and between producers. These attributes are influenced by differences in catching methods, handling and salting methods. This report summarizes the variation in these procedures, and in addition, the market segmentation of salted products, from the different countries.

The majority of the world's salted fish production takes place within the Nordic countries, but the largest group of consumers is in Southern Europe and South America. Cod is the main raw material, but salted fish is also produced from other related species, such as saithe, ling, haddock and saithe. Properties of salted fish products, such as quality and utilization, vary between countries of production and producers. These variables depend on fishing methods, raw material handling and salting methods. The report is a summary of the variability in these factors between producing countries, as well as an assessment of their share in the salted fish markets.

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Reports

Fish protein markets. Analysis of products on the market

Published:

01/04/2008

Authors:

Guðjón Þorkelsson, Þóra Valsdóttir, Guðrún Anna Finnbogadóttir, Sigrún Mjöll Halldórsdóttir

Supported by:

AVS

contact

Guðjón Þorkelsson

Strategy & Stakeholders

gudjon.thorkelsson@matis.is

Fish protein markets. Analysis of products on the market

The report begins with a general description of proteins in the food market, ie. different types of proteins and market share. The main products with fish proteins are also described, i.e. fishmeal, fish protein concentrate, surimi, isolati, fish digestion, fish sauce, flavors, gelatin, dietary supplements and their health-related properties. Targeted diet with soy, milk and fish proteins is described. The main conclusions about the position of fish proteins in this market are: The use of protein isolates in injected and tumbled products will increase the economic, nutritional and environmental value with better utilization of raw materials in fillet processing. Also in the production of prepared seafood. There are still many problems that need to be solved. It would be possible to achieve considerably more value if it were possible to produce high-quality isolates from fatty pelagic fish. Despite indications of various excellent processing properties of fish proteins, methods of isolation and purification are less advanced than for vegetable and milk proteins. They can not compete with them as excipients in prepared foods. However, there is a good chance of developing more supplements from hydrolyzed fish proteins (VFP), for example to reduce blood pressure or to increase the body's protection against stress. Certain protein products can even be used to control appetite in the fight against obesity. In addition, there are products on the market to lower the glycemic index. The market for such fish protein products is not large but is likely to grow, and there are opportunities to use traditional production methods such as fermentation to increase the bioactivity properties of VFP and use them in products known to consumers. It is very likely that low-salt fish sauces and fish flavors with specially designed bioactive properties will be on offer in the future. However, this is partly due to the fact that the health claims are accepted. This requires extensive and costly research that will require both public bodies and companies to pay for.

A short overview is given for products and the market for food protein ingredients. The main types of fish protein products are described, that is, fish meal, fish protein concentrate and isolate, surimi, fish silage, fish sauce, fish flavors and gelatine. Food supplements with soy, dairy and fish proteins or peptides and their health-related properties are covered. The main conclusions for the future outlook for fish protein and peptide products are: Applying protein isolates as water binders in injected and tumbled products will result in greater additional economic, nutritional and environmental values by increasing the yield of raw materials in fish filleting operation and by using them in production of ready-to-eat seafood products. There would be an even greater economic advantage if pH-shift methods could be used to produce high-quality isolates from raw material that today is unfit for traditional processing. Fish protein ingredients cannot compete on price, size and quality with plant and dairy proteins on the functional ingredient market. Plant and dairy ingredients will continue to be a part of formulating ready-to-eat convenience fish products. More supplements from FPH can be developed to reduce high blood pressure but they will face heavy competition from other protein sources. The antioxidant properties of FPH can be employed in supplements and food products to enhance the antioxidant defenses of the body against oxidative stress. They can also be used as immunomodulators to enhance non-specific host defense mechanisms. Specific protein products can even be made to control food intake in the fight against obesity. The market for such products made from fish proteins is not big but it will grow and there are also opportunities for adapting traditional food processes like fermentation to enhance the bioactive properties of FPH and to use them in products that consumers already know. Low-salt fish sauce and fish flavors with tailor-made bioactive properties are likely the future. Sufficient scientific evidence must be produced if companies are to produce and sell products with health claims. Private companies, universities and other research organizations can work together on special hydrolysates or peptides but the cost might be too high for small companies, so a global collaboration may be needed in the interests of fisheries, fish processing industries and consumers worldwide.

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