Scottish seafood slicing off a piece of the Asian market
Eight Scottish-based companies, plus a representative of Scotland’s fishermen will be present on the stand at East Asia’s largest seafood show, the Japanese Seafood and Technology Expo. The exhibition is expected to be attended by over 35,000 trade buyers over three days.
Scottish companies attending:
- The Scottish Salmon Company (West of Scotland) fresh salmon
- Wester Ross Salmon (Oban, Ross-shire) fresh salmon
- Loch Duart Salmon (Lairg, Sutherland) farmed Scottish salmon
- Shetland Catch Ltd (Lerwick, Shetland) mackerel, herring
- Hebridean Smokehouse (Clachan, Isle of North Uist) smoked salmon, sea trout and shellfish
- Northbay Pelagic Limited (mackerel, herring)
- Lunar Freezing & Cold Storage Co Ltd (mackerel, herring)
- Denholm Seafoods Ltd (mackerel, herring)
As one of the largest consumers of salmon and seafood in the world, Japan is a crucial market for seafood businesses from across the globe. Gilpin Bradley, of Wester Ross Salmon, the oldest independent salmon farm in Scotland, said: “We’ve supplied the Japanese market for a few years, and they really appreciate our high quality sashimi grade Scottish Salmon. By improving our understanding of this important market, we’re keen to achieve increased volumes”
Shoppers, retailers and food service buyers are ruthlessly focused on freshness, quality and presentation and intensely brand-conscious in their purchasing of imported goods. They were asked why Scottish Salmon is so popular in Asian markets and explained how the size, flavour and quality of the fish is perfect for sushi and sashimi. The industry’s traceability system is also very important to consumers who want to know the provenance of their food from source to plate.
Natalie Bell, trade marketing manager for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Asia) at trade body Seafood Scotland said: “Asia is an important market for the Scottish seafood sector, and Japan, as the food culture trend-setter for the region, is key.
The companies will be presenting a range of Scottish smoked and farmed salmon, mackerel, herring, crab and langoustines to trade buyers and counterparts in Japan
"We know that Japan is a discerning market, with a huge appetite for the world-class level of quality that seafood from Scotland achieves, making this Expo one of the most critical opportunities for Scottish companies to do business in the region.
Scottish seafood’s inroads in Japan have defied formidable cultural barriers in Japan where “kokusan” or home-grown food products tend to command premium prices.
Although salmon is a Japanese breakfast and casual dining staple, and fresh Scottish salmon is available, the more likely growth market is in smoked salmon the import trade of which is heavily dominated by Norway.
Scottish seafood has performed well at high-priced outlets such as the Mitsukoshi department store, where the clean-water Scottish provenance of products such as langoustine has been heavily marketed.
In addition to attending the Expo, the Scottish contingent will host a ‘Taste of Scotland’ Seafood reception at the British Embassy in Tokyo, working alongside other Scottish producers of gin, dairy and bakery products and craft beers “to deepen existing relationships within the region, as well as making new ties with buyers and chefs that might include Scottish seafood on their menus.