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Norwegian stockfish and cod: consumption is growing in Italy

From out-of-home to ready-to-eat: NSC explains the trends

It is the lord of the seas, the very cold ones, and along the approximately 30 thousand km of coastline of Norway it finds one of its ideal habitats. Since here, where the Gulf Stream meets the waters of the Arctic, life explodes in millions of specimens. He, the Norwegian Arctic cod, is the true white gold of the North. Honor and pride of the Norwegian navy and industry: for which Italy represents one of the main markets, with an export of stockfish and cod equal to 69 million and 186 thousand euros in 2023, for a total volume of 3585 tonnes. With a sales value that last year for stockfish alone recorded a +18% compared to 2022.

These, among others, are the data that emerged during the seminar on stockfish and cod organized in Naples by the Norwegian Seafood Council, the body created in 1991 by the Norwegian Ministry of Commerce to promote the export and culture of its fish products. A rather deep-rooted culture, especially in Veneto and Liguria, in our country: for 76% of consumers, according to the latest Nielsen IQ survey, it is very important that stockfish comes from Norway.

The body has ambitious objectives, as Tom-Jørgen Gangsø , director for Italy of the Norwegian Seafood Council, explains to EFA News.

The fact remains that the strong inflationary pressures of the last year have significantly reduced the consumption of fish products in Italy. During the seminar, Andrea Eminente , CEO of Unifrigo Gadus, a company involved in the import of fish products for 6 generations, expressed his opinion on how to reconcile higher prices with greater consumption of cod and stockfish across multiple sales segments. from Norway, and Paolo Monti, commercial director of Foods Import of Fratelli Monti, an Abruzzo company which has been trading with the Scandinavian country since 1903. And which, thanks to the high pressure technology HPP (High Pressure Processing), has launched on the market a few years ago an already rehydrated product, with bacterial loads eliminated and with a longer shelf life, maintaining its organoleptic properties intact.

Cod and stockfish are omnichannel products, i.e. capable of being marketed in multiple sales segments, even if the most promising sector is now that of catering.

However, it emerges that 35% of consumers of the precious cod are over 50 years old, compared to a scant 12% among those over 18: the goal of the Norwegian Seafood Council is also to intercept the tastes of the younger public, working on social media and successful testimonial, the Manchester City footballer Erling Haaland .

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EFA News - European Food Agency