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New project to investigate how quality affects value of salmon products

A group of researchers led by Nofima is currently examining how different types of quality can increase the value of salmon products. The ‘Qualidiff’ project is examining both how different customer groups demand different quality attributes and how the emphasis on these can enhance value creation and profitability. “Quality isn’t just about how salmon tastes. It can be about how much and what type of fat it contains, or about the color, cut and packaging. But quality can also be linked to ecolabels, origin or brands.\"

May 3, 2018

 

A group of researchers led by Nofima is currently examining how different types of quality can increase the value of salmon products.

“Quality isn’t just about how salmon tastes. It can be about how much and what type of fat it contains, or about the color, cut and packaging. But quality can also be linked to ecolabels, origin or brands,” said Geir Sogn-Grundvåg, senior researcher at Nofima.

He is heading up ‘Qualidiff’, the research project that was recently launched in which researchers are examining both how different customer groups demand different quality attributes and how the emphasis on these can enhance value creation and profitability. The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway and will run for four years.

Differentiation, i.e. highlighting certain features or trying to stand out, is a key part of all marketing. One way of doing this is to highlight attributes that are about quality. Geir Sogn-Grundvåg explained that examples of this include a particular salmon being reared organically, or produced in a special geographical area that gives it a unique history and perhaps even special physical quality characteristics, such as those found in products made from spawning cod or wine.

There are many ways to differentiate products and it is these varied opportunities available to producers to utilize such quality characteristics in their marketing strategies that are being identified, examined and evaluated in this new project.

The viability of any strategy will change with market dynamics. Thus one which is currently ‘good’ will cease to be so if it costs more than the benefits it generates, or is overtaken by competitors’ actions. Consequently, the researchers will also be looking at the requirements and costs associated with the various differentiation strategies.

“We will examine the opportunities for this throughout the entire salmon value chain, from pen to plate,\" added Sogn-Grundvåg. \"We have a reference group of industry partners on board to give us advice on how to make the research as relevant as possible, and we will also benefit from Nofima’s research environment within feed, filleting, quality, shelf-life and packaging.\"

The project should result in both new academic insights and practical recommendations on differentiation strategies for salmon.

Qualidiff is being led by Nofima and carried out in close cooperation with researchers from NORCE/University of Stavanger, the University of Stirling and the University of Florida. The reference group consists of representatives from the feed producer Skretting, the salmon exporter Villa Seafood, the salmon producer Nordlaks and the Norwegian Seafood Council.

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