Sushi boom pushes salmon to Italy’s top food spot

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Italy’s salmon market is now worth EUR 362 million.

La Sicilia reports that Italy’s growing love for suchi has increased salmon demand by more than 7 per-cent.

According to Nielsen’s research, salmon sales reached EUR 362 million in 2018 and increased by 7.7% compared to 2017. In terms of trends, Nielsen found that on average, one Italian out of two prefers to order sushi with salmon, and one out of three would even eat the Japanese snack every day.

Among all the markets in 2018, Italy was the fastest growing and from 2010 to 2018, with Norwegian salmon increasing by a whopping 324 per cent in that decade.

Italy director of the Norwegian Seafood Council Trym Eiden Gundersen told the publication that the Italian market is one of the most promising. “In 2018, we recorded an import from Norway of 62 thousand tonnes – which reached over 100 thousand tonnes if we consider all the Norwegian salmon import channels – an increase of 18% compared to the previous year,” he said.

The popularity of easy access “sushi corners” (small outlets in large-scale retail chains) are driving numbers – with as much as 43% of consumers owning up to have bought sushi in supermarkets in the last three months.

“In the first few months of 2019, Italian retail chains recorded a significant increase in the seafood segment following also the great success of the sushi corner which recorded a turnover of EUR 113.2 million, with a growth rate 5.4 per-cent and still has ample room for growth,” said Sales Leader Analytics Nielsen Italy Andrea Succi.