Alfred Seafood, a brand developed by Romfood Trading, one of the main actors on the importers and distributors market of fish and seafood products, has the vision of the market for the next five years consisting in the increase of fish consumption, which now is at one of the lowest levels in Europe. The average fish consumption of a Romanian family is one fish meal every three weeks. Alfredo’s objective is that in five years from now, a family will have a fish meal per week, which means to triple the consumption. Romanian people are currently eating a bit more than 6 kg/capita per year, while the opposite situation is in countries like Spain (40 kg/capita per year) and France (38 kg/capita per year).
Fish market – EUR 1 billion/year over five years
The value of the fish and fishery market in Romania reaches today EUR 350 million/year. Given that the fish consumption will increase from the current value of 6 kg/capita to 18 kg/capita, fish market could reach EUR 1 billion per year in 2021.
Nutrition surveys indicate that a balanced diet should include proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fats, all of them in moderate proportions. Healthy eating involves not overdo some types of products over others. To correct the current imbalance 100 percent, Romanians should have around two fish or seafood meals per week.
“Fish is a resource of clean proteins, necessary for a balanced diet, at least once per week. According to statistics, the average fish consumption in Romania currently consists in one fish meal to three weeks, which is extremely poor. We are aware we cannot reach, at least for the moment, the level of Spain, a country with a specific Mediterranean culinary culture, where people have two fish meals weekly. Therefore, we aim a gradual increase, to one fish meal per week. To reach this, we will need the concerted effort of the entire industry: from producers, to importers, distributors and retailers”, stated Mihai Cristian Darmanescu, Romfood Trading General Manager.
No week without fish for Romanians
Alfredo Seafood appreciates that the solution to change the bad consumption habits is providing the correct information about the importance of the fish for the healthy eating. To let the body benefit from nutrients, fish should be included in the Romanians’ menu at least once per week.
The main obstacles for a higher fish consumption are: fears about the freshness of the products, the difficulty to cook them (people don’t know how to cook fish, what recipes to use, etc.), the difficulty to clean the fish, the fear not to choke with bones, as well as the price slightly higher than in other meats’ cases.
“The resistance against fish consumption has its roots also in the fact that Romania is a continental country that doesn’t have a tradition of eating fish and seafood. In our country, fish is still assimilated to the fasting period or to a diet dedicated strictly to children or to those who have to follow a diet. We have decided to remove the prejudices related to fish and fishery products, by providing correct or alternative data. For instance, the problem of the preparation of the fish before being cooked can be solved very easy by buying already cleaned products. We do not only guarantee for freshness, but are also careful to deliver clean fish, ready to cook”, explained Mihai Cristian Darmanescu.