Seafish says the ‘Love Seafood’ campaign is a success with the industry despite criticism
Seafish has responded to the criticism levelled at the ‘Love Seafood’ website highlighted in the BBC Politics South West show, which was aired last Sunday, 07 March 2021 and to the comments made in yesterday’s article here on The Fishing Daily.
Seafish says that they have not received any heavy criticism for this campaign and many in the industry are pleased with the work that is undertaken by Seafish to support increased seafood consumption, particularly at such a challenging time for many businesses.
The BBC Politics clip saw some commentators involved in the industry take issue with the Love Seafood website and in particular the section ‘Species of Fish and Shellfish’ where some fish like brill and whiting were described as being available canned, and fish being out of context in which season they were available.
One of the other criticisms aimed at the section on the website was species featured. An example was Atlantic Wolfish, which Fish Merchant Andy Trust said he never found in a supermarket.
There was also a harsh scrutiny on the species featured in the Spring campaign with featured Nephrops/langoustines, crab, lobster, scallops, oysters, clams, mussels, squid, cuttlefish, turbot, plaice, sole and monkfish/angler fish.
It was said that some of these species were not readily available in UK fishmongers as most were exported abroad and/or they were high-end fish that was out of the price range for most average families, and some of the commentators feared that this could damage consumer confidence.
In reply, Seafish says they don’t understand how this campaign could damage consumer confidence and it is a great opportunity to get people better acquainted with the fabulous varieties of seafood that are landed in the UK every week. Seafish say that the species in the campaign are easily found in fishmongers and we encourage people to give their local fishmonger a try.
They also pointed out that the funding mentioned was spent on consumer marketing campaigns and not on the development of the species information from the Love Seafood website which is shown and discussed in the clip from the BBC Politics show.
Greg Smith, Head of Marketing at Seafish:
“This spring we’re partnering with Defra on a Love Seafood marketing campaign. It features fish and shellfish from UK waters which are traditionally exported to Europe or sold to hospitality. The list of species to feature in the campaign was provided by Defra as part of the funding requirements.
“Key messages for this campaign centre around Love Seafood objectives of driving understanding of reasons to buy seafood – choice; convenience; balanced living and driving desire to eat more seafood, more often. Love Seafood activity is about increasing positive consumer perceptions and attitudes towards seafood in general – essentially making them more likely to want to eat fish or shellfish.
“Over time Love Seafood will feature many different species and product types as we seek to change consumer perceptions and attitudes towards seafood. Changing attitudes and behaviour takes time, so Love Seafood has been built as a 20 year initiative. This strategic approach for Love Seafood has been approved by our board.
“When developing content for our Love Seafood website we take our information from a number of different, industry-recognised and approved sources and individuals representing the industry. We’re always delighted to receive feedback and challenges to our approach, which we’re very happy to review regularly. If industry representatives have concerns they’re very welcome to drop us an email directly; we can optimise and improve things much quicker that way.”
By Oliver McBride