Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems

Insight into sales messaging could aid seafood trade

Global variations in marketing approach offer scope for sector developments.

Seafood marketing messages vary between different regions of the world, according to research involving the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security.

A team of researchers led by the University of Stirling studied logos, certification and claims on exhibitor booths at seafood trade show events in China, Europe, and the US.

They found a clear difference in approach between the Global South and North. Chinese messaging focused on food safety and the quality of the product, while European and North American consumers were perceived to be more interested in the sustainability of production processes.

Their findings are published ahead of the first global seafood trade show of the year, Seafood Expo North America in Boston, US, later this month.

Priority messaging

The team suggests China’s higher interest in messaging around safety and quality can be traced to concerns over food safety scares, due to less developed standards.

Messaging focused on quality was aimed at strengthening associations with the perceived natural characteristics and health benefits of seafood consumption in the Chinese market, they add.

These understandings could support better communication between producer and consumer, as well as improve production and business practices.

Project partners included the Global Academy, Kafrelsheikh University, South China Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Shanghai Ocean University and the University of Massachusetts Boston.

The study was carried out as part of the Green Aquaculture Intensification Project (GAIN), funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme.

It is published in the journal Sustainability.

The more we understand communications within the seafood sector, between traders and the marketplace, the better we can work to ensure the needs and expectations of consumers are met, to the benefit of food supply chains.

Dr Mahmoud EltholthResearch Fellow, Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security

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