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Production driven strategies bound to fail

Aquaculture is a novice when it comes to product development, and lags back in communicating the health assets of fish. That’s why you now may order a hamburger without a bun, but still no salmon burger,” AquaVision delegates told.

Production driven strategies bound to fail

June 27, 2004

When Dr Atkins and his colleagues made consumers mistrust carbohydrates, what could food producers do? Well, why not bunless hamburgers and pizza with no dough? Both exist, and more than that — they are market busters. Do you hear that, salmon industry?

“The aquaculture industry has to think in this way, too, and look to market trends when they plan future growth. Production driven strategies are bound to fail,” said trend analyst Ray Cesca, addressing aquaculture representatives from all over the world at the AquaVision business conference in Stavanger, Norway, Wednesday.

Former WHO-leader Gro Harlem Brundtland has taken up a crusade against sugar, Atkins and fellow dieticians go to war on carbohydrates, and Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee in the US has demanded weight loss for everyone in his state. This is a tremendous opportunity for the aquaculture industry.

“Listen to the cries for new food products from the market,” keynote speaker Cesca stated as he addressed the important international conference, hosting 380 participants from 23 countries. Together they represent around one million tonnes of salmon, practically the total global output.

Aggressive producers needed
Cesca, now a corporate consultant, worked for decades in the top team of McDonald’s. “During my McDonald’s years I had no salmon producer in my lobby, whereas beef, pork and chicken companies queued to introduce creative new ways of using their product, he reported, taking that as a sign that aquaculture did not emphasise market driven strategies the way they should.

“When you’re a food producer, you only need to ask your customer one question: What do you want for dinner? Then you just produce what he wants. Aquaculture is a novice when it comes to product development, and lags back in communicating the health assets of fish. That’s why you now may order a hamburger without a bun, but still no salmon burger,” Cesca provoked his audience.

Perfect timing
Low calorie, high protein, omega-3-rich food is a winner, analysts say, pointing to obesity and diabetes, already an enormous problem and still growing in the rich world. Ray Cesca showed delegates calculations reporting one billion obese persons. This has grave consequences, both for the health and the economy.

“In the US we pay a billion dollars a day for absentees and insurance compensation because of this. Authorities and industry, headed by insurance companies, are pressing for a more healthy lifestyle, including more healthy food.”

Ray Cesca told world aquaculture, “Fish tastes good, looks good and is good for you. In addition to that, seafood has a positive snob value. So fish farmers, grab the opportunity, the markets are there for you to win.”

AquaVision 2004 took place from 22 to 24 June in Stavanger, Norway and is the fifth in this successful series, which began in 1996.
Further information can be found at
www.aquavision.nu

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