The salmon and the mackerel continue to be the absolute champions in the Romanians’ fish preferences, according to Romfood Trading, one of the leading fish and seafood importer and distributors in Romania and a developer of the Alfredo Seafood brand. The sales of salmon and mackerel grew by 5% in 2016 compared to the previous year, and the ranking of the Romanians’ preferred fish varieties in terms of the sales value, is complemented by hake and white cod. The seafood is also increasingly appreciated locally. In 2016, the salmon and the mackerel were leaders in the fish market in terms of value: the salmon, with sales of about 210 million lei and the mackerel, for which the Romanians spent about 157 million lei. In terms of volumes, the champion is the mackerel of 31,500 tons bought, according to Romfood Trading data.
The market trends are mirrored in the Alfredo Seafood product portfolio, where, in terms of value, the top is the same as at the level of the whole Romanian fish market. The situation is also kept in terms of the sold volumes, and the mackerel occupies the leader position with 3,000 tons sold last year by Romfood Trading in the traditional retail networks, on the IKA distribution channels and on the HoReCa segment.
“I am very happy to see how the fish market grows slowly, but surely, from one year to another. In addition to the varieties bought traditionally in our country, such as the mackerel, the products that were previously considered to be niche, only for the occasional consumption, began to gain place on the market. This category includes salmon, which, like seafood, has regularly become part of the menu of more and more Romanians. Once with the fall of the VAT, we are seeing an increase in the quality of the purchased products, which is more often than before, in quantity. The Romanians are much more attentive to what they buy, to the origin, they read the labels carefully, they choose preparations that are clean and packaged according to the modern technologies that keep their freshness and nutrients”, said Mihai Cristian Darmanescu, General Director of Romfood Trading.
Salmon is a more expensive fish because it has an extremely tasty meat with a very high content of pure nutrients, especially Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. The mackerel is widely purchased because it has a lower price, but it also has many qualities. It is a saltwater fish from the catch (wild fish) and contains considerable amounts of B12 vitamin.
Sales with about 30% higher during Fast periods
The Easter and Christmas Fasts are the periods with the highest sales of fish throughout the year. According to the Romfood Trading estimates, the fish consumption has grown by 30%, both in March and April and November to December 2016, during the fast periods.
During the fasts, in 2016, the most bought fish varieties were still the salmon, the mackerel, the hake and the cod, from catching and aquaculture outside the country, frozen or fresh, as well as varieties of local varieties such as carp, trout, blood, carafe or novak.
“Romania is a country with a strong Orthodox tradition, where many people respect the fast period, which means abstaining from products of animal origin, less fish, for which there are special concessions. So it is normal to increase the consumption. It would be ideal to keep it at the same level after the end of this period, taking into account how healthy this meat is. What I have noticed is that even the people who do not keep a fast tend to consume, along with others, fish instead of other types of meat when this fact is permitted during fast periods. Also, the fast periods, there are cooked some traditional Romanian fish-based dishes, more than in the rest of the year. This is why the consumption is also increasing in the domestic production, because fish such as carp or trout are better suited to dishes such as brine or sail. We expect that, the trend of increasing the consumption will be preserved by introducing a fish meal daily, especially on holidays”, adds Mihai Cristian Darmanescu.
Alfredo Seafood is in the top three representative brands on the Romanian fish and seafood market, second on the seafood segment and third on the frozen fish side. Romfood Trading is among the first companies on the market, both in terms of volume and value of marketed products, with a wide range in both frozen and fresh products. The company invests in innovation by introducing the concept of freshly packaged fish into the modified atmosphere (MAP). Also, one of the most important investments of the last year, which will continue in 2017, is in the range of “ultrafresh” products, extremely fresh fish and seafood, barely captured, reaching the shelf in an interval between 10 and 60 hours since it was caught.