The seafood industry delivers a high protein food with one of the lowest environmental footprints and yet it is still overshadowed by a history of unsustainable practices. The industry has come a long way over the last two decades by adopting responsible farming practices to creating sustainable feeds. It has a positive environmental story and the time might just be right to launch a good news story that is simple and allows easy engagement by consumers.
There is a shift in the market towards more positive messaging around seafood from key NGOs, partly lead by a holistic view of the global food system. Last month, WWF launched their Planet Diet complete with a menu planner where seafood features more prominently than other high protein foods. They encourage consumers to purchase certified seafood and it’s clear they see it as part of the solution in a planet-friendly diet.
This is not surprising given that fish has a smaller environmental impact compared to other high protein food choices, as shown in the Protein Scorecard by the World Resources Institute. An image repositioning strategy is required to change the existing consumer mindset, however, we the industry can perpetuate a myth by simply defending ourselves all the time. That is why BioMar has created the Sustainable Nutrition campaign to help inspire a new, simple message that we can all adopt.
“Fish have a great sustainable protein story, one that will inspire people to eat more seafood not only for their own health but for the health of our planet. Everyone operating in the seafood industry can relate to this campaign,” said Katherine Bryar, global head of Marketing & Branding, BioMar Group.
Recent research conducted this year by Global Scan and MSC showed that 71% of consumers want to reduce their environmental footprint and 45% even feel guilty about their impact on the planet. For most people helping to solve climate change seems too large and complicated of a problem. This campaign was designed to show people that with a simple food choice they can make a difference, one bite at a time. “With this type of behavioral-change marketing, it is important to maintain positive messaging when telling your story and avoid demonizing others,” said Bryar.
BioMar has shared the concept with several seafood industry bodies and there is interest to take it directly to consumers. A Sustainable Nutrition task force with representatives from Global Salmon Initiative, Chilean Salmon Marketing Council, British Trout Association, Norwegian Seafood Federation and Scottish Salmon Producers Organization has been formed and others are welcomed to join. Together, they will combine their collective expertise and resources to design a marketing and media strategy. If all goes well, the task force hopes to launch this campaign to consumers in key markets in Q2 2021.
“For BioMar it is important that we support our customers and if this helps create a positive environmental image around seafood and increases consumption than it’s a win-win scenario for us as we are solely dedicated to the sustainable future of the aquaculture industry,” said Carlos Diaz, CEO BioMar Group.