Is Fish Consumption Trending With Consumers Alongside Being Veg?
A national U.S. study shows that, while 62% of consumers say that they eat meals without beef, pork, chicken, or turkey at least once a week, they generally consider fish to be a “healthy” alternative similar to eating veg food. Among those people that eat vegetarian or vegan entrées, younger consumers were more likely (“45 percent vs. 30 percent of older consumers”) to actually follow a veg diet.
Conducted by consumer research firm Technomic, this study outlines how food service providers should pay attention to this trend towards healthier eating, and lumps the consumption of fish and being veg into an overall trend to which food service should respond. “As demand for healthful options continues and the fact that Millennials are representing a greater proportion of the foodservice consumer, seafood, vegetarian or vegan menu innovation will become essential,” say the researchers. They go on to describe how attention on health will “continue to drive the seafood and vegetarian menu mix,” and state that marketing with an eye to health can be leveraged to generate interest in both food categories.
This study reminds us of the perception many consumers have of fish: they are not considered to be the same as land animals in ethical terms, and people often think it is healthier to consume their meat. It’s interesting that the researchers note the overall need for more veg menu items. They say that at least twice as many people who eat vegetarian or vegan foods cook them at home (68%) compared to ordering it at a food service location on a weekly basis. This means that, as has been noted in other studies, there is considerable room for growth of veg options in eating out establishments.