Ten good ideas for the seafood industry


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Stine Alm Hersleth

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You need to look hard to find much seafood in the Norwegian fast food industry. You might find a little prawn salad for your hot dog or salmon in a wrap, but that’s about all. Now the industry has been creating a number of new business ideas for getting more seafood onto the fast food market. The seafood industry has been invited to help themselves to their ideas.

Britt Signe Granli of Nofima Mat explains that the process started with a thorough analysis, including observation studies of consumers on the move. What was learned in this phase formed the basis of four so-called platforms: the car as a dining table, one-handed food, express lunch and spontaneous dinner. These platforms were the foundation on which new ideas were generated.

The ten concepts that were developed are summarised here:

1. Autowraps

This idea covers the need for food in the car that doesn’t make a mess with a pack of wraps of different flavours. The essence of this idea is the packaging, which can be placed in a cup holder or perhaps fixed to the dashboard. In this way the product meets the need for food that is easy to eat in the car, preferably with one hand.

2. Good for kids in the car

The idea is to offer a special packaging solution for kids in the back of the car. The pack might typically contain a combination of food, drink, entertainment and things to pass the time, such as games, cards for collecting etc. This idea could form the basis of a brand that takes children’s needs in the car seriously – and that parents look on as healthy.

3. The Norwegian “Red Lobster”

“The Red Lobster” is a franchise model for a fast, family-friendly fish and seafood restaurant with a roadside location. The restaurant concept could be owned by the seafood industry, as franchises. This concept makes it possible for the industry to get a high return on the raw materials, because the industry itself owns the franchise. For customers, it meets the need for a pleasant place to stop en route with good, healthy food.

4. Finger food from the sea

This concept springs from a consumer need for good seafood that can be eaten at home, on a Friday evening with guests for example, without having to spend hours in the kitchen. In practice, the idea consists of a tray of assorted choice finger food or tapas of fish and seafood. The focus is not just on the product, but on ease and time saving.

5. Soup on a stick

Working from the concept of a self-heating rod that you press to activate, a bowl of fish soup could be designed that could be heated and eaten anytime, anywhere. This covers the need for a good, healthy meal that can be eaten on the go, without mess. Also, the soup bowl could be positioned as a trendy, high-tech product.

6. Fish day

There are many countries where fish and Friday go together. A fish day like this could be established in Norway through agreements with supermarkets, cafes, bars, petrol stations etc. One day a week – Tuesdays for example – could be used for extra seafood advertising, selling fresh fish meals, serving fish in canteens etc.

7. One-handed fish cakes

Hot fish cakes are easy to hold in one hand and a healthy option to hot dogs and hamburgers. The seafood industry could supply semi-finished products, equipment and procedures to the sales outlets, or sell fish cakes from its own sales outlets.

8. The fridge post box

Customers can order fresh fish or ready meals and have the food delivered straight to a chilled or insulated box fixed to the wall of the house. This could be offered to a limited geographical area to begin with, and both the fridge post boxes and the distribution could be handled by sub-contractors, such as Posten for example.

9. Fish on wheels

A mobile kitchen can be positioned by the roadside, at festivals and events or anywhere else people congregate. Consumers are offered a good selection of healthy fast food that can be eaten there and then. This concept allows the possibility of owning all or large parts of the value chain, so that the producer can retain most of the earnings.

10. Fish in a flash

If daily deliveries of popular, light fish dishes were offered to simpler catering establishments, then they would be able to offer dishes they would not have been able to make themselves. Salmon quiche or seafood pasta, for example, could be offered as lunch dishes to canteens and cafes with a limited capacity for producing food themselves.

The project’s conclusions were presented at Seafood Days 2010. The ball is now in the seafood industry’s court; they are free to take over the ideas and develop them. The project was carried out by Nofima Mat and Moonwalk AS for the Federation of Norwegian Seafood Producers (NSL) and the Fishery and Aquaculture Industry Research Fund (FHF). Other partners were Berggren AS, Brødrene Remø AS and industry designer Kjersti Schulte. The report and other material can be downloaded free of charge from FHF’s website.

Consumer and sensory sciences  

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