In brief

In brief

  • Our research examines the consumer trends impacting the Norwegian seafood industry.
  • Conscious consumption, food safety and nutrition, convenience and personalization are four key trends influencing the future of the industry.
  • To remain relevant for consumers in the future, seafood producers will need to embrace new and changing consumers’ expectations and preferences.
  • Technology and data are set to be key enablers to deliver on current and future consumer trends to build trust and drive sustainable growth.

In the past few years, the seafood industry has seen a rising demand among consumers around the world, representing today 7% of the total protein consumed globally1. Taking into consideration that a fish’s carbon footprint is considerably lower than other animal food products, its potential in sustainably feeding an increasing world population is significant.

Changing consumer demands, increased climate regulatory measures and the Covid-19 pandemic are bringing new realities to the food industry. Understanding consumers’ expectations and preferences and delivering on them will be key to remain relevant and generate future growth. We have identified four key consumers trends impacting the seafood industry.

Conscious consumption

Prior to the pandemic, sustainable products were growing 5,6 times faster than conventionally marketed products and this trend has been further accentuated after march 20202. In addition to climate concerns, animal welfare, preserving the ocean and sustainable production methods, consumers are now more conscious about their communities. Consumers expect sustainably produced products that have a minimum impact on the environment.


of consumers say the pandemic will increase their focus on the environment.


of consumers say that they buy more environmentally-friendly products today than 5 years ago.

New technologies, like Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain provide Norwegian seafood industry with an opportunity.

Food safety and nutrition

When it comes to farmed fish, an increased percentage of vegetable ingredients in feed has in recent years led to questions about the nutritional value and omega-3 components. It has been reported that the concentration of some types of omega-3 in farmed fish has decreased up to 50% during the last 15 years3. This could pose a challenge on how players in the future will obtain the right mix of ingredients while delivering on their sustainability commitments.


of consumers buy seafood for its omega-3s and 77% value its high protein level and no antibiotics.


of consumers think the pandemic will increase the focus on health.

As an important export sector in Norway, the seafood industry is set to play a key role in the transition to a greener Norwegian economy.


Influenced by large global e-commerce players, the consumer today is evermore expecting food to be one click away from their doors. Physical distancing and lockdown measures imposed by governments during Covid-19 has marked an inflection point for established food producers to engage in direct-to-consumer models.

Although there are some companies partnering with local food delivery businesses, we do not see a considerable activity around these models for more established Norwegian companies. This will be a necessary step to get access to consumer data to improve and personalize product experiences.


The era of “one size fits all” is over. Consumers look for products and services that cater for their specific individual, environmental and ethical preferences, and physical needs. While innovators and start-ups are driving these new business models, more established companies have joined the race in the last years and have set high growth expectations on this market. It is projected that just the personalized nutrition market will double by 20254.

The recipe for success: Apply technology and data to deliver on consumer expectations.

Delivering on consumer expectations requires that seafood producers have a more holistic view to technology and data. While the Norwegian seafood industry is taking initial, but firm steps to apply new technologies in the harvesting, production and distribution process, its full potential and use is yet to be fully leveraged.

Preparing for the future requires a full understanding and adoption of these technologies to further optimize operations and provide consumers with product transparency. This will also contribute to delivering a more personalized experience, especially those engaged in value added processing.

5 recommendations for the seafood industry’s future

Develop new solutions for food safety

Create solutions that reassure consumers about the safety and the nutrition of each individual fish.

Share detailed information with consumers

Keep consumers informed using technologies that enable track and trace.

Embrace direct-to consumer business models

Explore new ways of thinking such as ecosystem partnerships.

Deliver on personalized experiences

Ease of access to consumer data and technological power to process it will determine the ability to succeed.

Become digital at the core

This will require an entrepreneurial mindset and having the right ecosystem partners.

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Alexander Løberg

Managing Director - Strategy & Consulting Lead

Carlos Rangel

Manager – Strategy & Consulting, Supply Chain & Operations and CG&S, Accenture Norway

Roar Nyerrød

Manager – Strategy & Consulting, Retail Industry, Accenture Norway


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