Attitudes and fish consumption of young people: Improving the image of seafood




Gunnþórunn Einarsdóttir, Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir, Emilía Martinsdóttir, Friðrik H. Jónsson, Inga Þórsdóttir, Fanney Þórsdóttir

Supported by:

AVS Fisheries Research Fund


Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir

Project Manager

Attitudes and fish consumption of young people: Improving the image of seafood

The aim of the project was to gather information on the attitudes and consumption of fish by young people. The report describes the results of an attitude and consumption survey among people aged 17-26 and data were collected in two ways in 2006. Information from Statistics Iceland showed that 61.5% people at this age were in school and the survey was submitted to that group. in lessons. A total of 800 upper secondary school students and 399 university students were reached. From a random sample of 2,300 working people (100% employment rate) aged 17-26 from Statistics Iceland, 2252 received the questionnaire by post. A total of 536 (24%) responded to the online survey. A total of 1735 respondents out of 2000 (86.7%) were initially targeted. The questionnaire can be divided into ten parts. The first part asked about attitudes towards health and food categories. The next part asked about fish consumption, consumption of fish species, various foods and the purchase of fish. The third part asked about the taste of different fish dishes. They were asked what was most important when buying fish in the fourth part. The fifth part asked about factors that affect fish consumption. In the sixth part, the assumptions of fish consumption were assessed, ie. inspiring and discouraging elements. The seventh asked about external influences on fish consumption. In the eighth part, knowledge of the nutritional value and handling of fish was assessed. The ninth part examined where consumers get information about fish and the trust they place in such information. Finally, the background of the interviewees was asked. The questions were analyzed in terms of gender, age, education, place of residence, number of children under the age of 18 in the household, whether the individuals had children or not and household income. On average, young people aged 17-26 eat fish as a main course 1.3 times a week or about five times a month, which is well below the recommended level. It was found that eating habits in childhood have a formative effect on people's fish consumption and also residence, on the one hand in the capital area and the countryside as well as living abroad at a young age. People aged 17-26 seem to have been brought up with fish consumption, which has a significant effect on their fish consumption. It was also found that the proportion of these people who have left home eat the least amount of fish. Those who live in the countryside do not have fish shops or fresh fish tables in the supermarkets in their area and therefore do not have as many fish dishes to choose from in the shops and rather eat traditional fish types and dishes. Fish balls, grated fish and boiled fish, all of which can be considered rather traditional dishes, seem to suit the tastes of a certain group of consumers. The second group prefers so-called hidden fish (light sauce, thick sauce, stew and oven-baked dishes), and the third group prefers exotic dishes (Mexican, tropical, Indian and Japanese). However, there are some gender differences in attitudes and men answer that they are less for healthy food, fish, vegetables, pasta dishes but are more for meat and fast food than women. Women are more for fish and enjoy the food better with fish than without it. They are still generally less for food but like to cook food more. The family is a strong influence on fish consumption, it is most sought after for information and most trusted. Young people seem to trust scientists to provide reliable information, but little is sought for information. The information that young people receive comes largely from the internet and other media. Scientists need to make greater use of this in disseminating information that is relevant to the public.

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