Cabomar: “An economic disaster in Spain is arriving. This is an extreme problem”

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Most countries are slowly beginning to open up borders, restaurants and tourist attractions after the lockdown. In Spain, this also means more citizens can enjoy a meal out after their siesta. But salmon might not be the first meal to be ordered. 

Cabomar is a global seafood processor, which sells half off their products to food-service. But the opening of restaurants does not bring an instant smile on Alberto Alonso’s face if the product discussed, is salmon.

“The price of salmon has to drop because customers here are looking for cheaper alternatives,” said Alberto Alonso, Director of Purchase for the North Atlantic for Cabomar, to SalmonBusiness.

The Spanish are known for eating seafood out, and not cooking seafood at home. As more people begin to make their way to restaurants, Alto Alonso expects salmon might not be the first choice. As many families are struggling financially due to the pandemic.

Alberto Alonso, Director of Purchase for the North Atlantic. Photo: Juan Bergas

The price increase in the last couple of weeks is according to him, too high to keep customers interested.

Cabomar experiences increasing demand for cheaper seafood products in both the food-service and retail, which does not look promising for the sales of salmon to Spain.

“Cheap products will be the key in the market,” he said.

At the moment Cabomar is experiencing a larger than normal demand for cheaper seafood options as breaded squid.

The salmon industry has long been a stable industry, but the product is also seen as a luxury one. In Spain, Alberto Alonso believes the pricing of the salmon will be the biggest influencer, when it comes to, how the industry will cope this summer.

“An economic disaster in Spain is arriving. This is an extreme problem,” he said and explained the loss of income for many citizens will lead to a smaller demand for more expensive seafood.

“The price of salmon will have to drop soon, as consumers can’t pay. It will have to be the key in the next months to sell cheaper products,” he stated.

Cabomar buys all their fresh salmon from Norwegian farmer Nordlaks and processes it at their factories. The company sells around 100 tonnes of salmon a month. 50 per cent of this goes to retail and 50 per cent goes to the food-service.

The company sells around 12 different products. None of their products are leading, and the biggest one takes up 12 per cent of the sales.

“This is what makes us more strong at the moment. Companies with just one family of seafood are challenged,” he concluded.