Nofima scientist Gøril Voldnes is about to finish her PhD degree on the relationship between Norwegian seafood exporters and Russian buyers. Approximately 150 of our researchers hold a PhD degree.
Nofima scientist Gøril Voldnes is about to finish her PhD degree on the relationship between Norwegian seafood exporters and Russian buyers. Approximately 150 of our researchers hold a PhD degree. Photo: Audun Iversen/Nofima

Marketing research

Nofima’s market researchers create new insights in marketing strategies and consumer behaviour related to seafood.

We offer

  • Knowledge of important markets for Norwegian seafood
  • Developing strategies for the industry
  • Insights into consumer behaviour
  • Methodological expertise (experiments, questionnaires, observation and monitoring, in-depth interviews)
  • Knowledge of industrial-level buying behaviour
  • Counselling on sustainability and environmental labelling
  • Market analyses
  • In-depth knowledge of individual markets for seafood
  • Market segmentation
  • Product and concept testing

Some achievements

  • Insights into how we can make children eat more seafood
  • Developed methodologies for charting new seafood markets
  • Insights into how social sustainability can be documented
  • Market insights related to various species such as cod, herring, mackerel, haddock, king crab and snow crab
  • Insights into a number of different markets with different requirements and cultural backgrounds that have an impact on the seafood trade: Germany, Poland, South Korea, China, Turkey, Spain, Norway, Russia, USA, England, France, Angola, and South Africa

Having knowledge of the entire value chain, from when the fish is pulled out of the sea until it reaches the consumers in the market, is essential in order for the Norwegian seafood industry to achieve its growth goals by 2050. To be successful in today’s food market, you need to have a holistic understanding of what the market wants.

We use our expertise to contribute to increased value creation in the seafood industry.

Our research into innovation, customer demands, purchasing behaviour and market access will provide the basis for developing sustainable marketing and product development strategies.

Our research is rooted in a perspective where we look at the entire value chain for seafood as a whole. We have research experience from a wide range of seafood products and markets. Our contextual knowledge about the seafood industry is a prerequisite for providing relevant research and helping the industry and the authorities to implement the results from our research.

We employ a number of methods for obtaining data, such as in-depth interviews, observation and monitoring, focus groups, experiments, questionnaires and more.

Marketing strategies

Norwegian seafood has unique characteristics which the industry can use in marketing.

Our goal is to provide insights on how the properties of Norwegian seafood can be utilized in the best possible ways in order for the companies to achieve a lasting competitive advantage and good profitability. Differentiation, positioning and niche strategies are key.

Our industry-level and consumer-level research can help Norwegian seafood businesses to identify and leverage opportunities in the market, and adapt to changes in their surroundings.

Market access

95% of all Norwegian seafood is exported, and access to export markets is therefore essential for the Norwegian seafood industry. Market access means that products can be traded freely across national borders. However, a number of factors could limit this freedom.

Our focus is on non-tariff factors, mainly factors that arise in the markets and among the consumers, such as sustainability requirements.

We are also researching the importance new marketing channels can have for the Norwegian industry, such as ecommerce, and how ecommerce can influence the industry’s access to new and existing markets.

Sustainable seafood

Many important markets require documentation that the seafood is sustainable. Our research on sustainability creates insights into how such demands arise, and the impact they have on the seafood industry.

This knowledge can help seafood businesses to consider whether they should adjust established production practices in the seafood industry to adapt to market demands, both in terms of environmental and social conditions.

Through gaining increased awareness on sustainable consumption among both retail consumers and industrial customers, the Norwegian seafood industry can use this knowledge to differentiate itself.

Industrial market research

National and international industrial buyers, such as exporters, importers, wholesalers, the processing industry, retail and the HoReCa-sector, are the primary customers for products from the Norwegian seafood industry.

The way industrial buyers choose seafood products is influenced by both internal and external factors, such as company-specific decisions and priorities as well as guidelines and influence from authorities and stakeholder organizations.

We generate knowledge which helps the industry to understand what lies behind these decisions and what consumers actually prioritize. For example, our research shows that understanding business cultures and building customer relationships is of great importance for how well you succeed in the markets.

Product and concept development

New processing technologies and biotechnology developments open up new opportunities for seafood products.  We use different methods for evaluating products and concepts to determine what the market feels is important for each product.

This knowledge can be used for optimising the products in line with market demands and preferences, which increases the chance of success. In this work we also leverage expertise from Nofima’s other fields of expertise related to processing, technology and raw materials.

Consumer research

The consumers’ perceptions of seafood develop in step with marketing trends and demographics. The selection of food products is influenced by a number of factors, such as the food’s origin, availability, packaging designs, product information, convenience, cooking skills, household demographics and sustainability. To be able to influence consumers, one needs to have knowledge about how and why they choose seafood.

Our research identifies key factors that influence the consumers’ purchasing decisions and shopping behaviour in different contexts. Key factors here are the characteristics of the individual consumers, such as their age and household demographics, product characteristics and the situation or the context in which the food is to be eaten.

This knowledge will help the seafood industry develop better, more targeted and more profitable marketing strategies, products and services. It also provides a basis for segmenting consumers and thereby tailoring communication to individual groups.

Read more about:

Creating Value

Some results from scientific projects in marketing research

World-leading crab research


Nofima is the world-leading interdisciplinary research group for red king crab and snow crab.


Varying profitability


Ingredients made from marine by-products are often held up as a potential gold mine. But what is the financial reality in the industry?


What’s in the fish?


Nofima scientists are looking for new ways to identify what fish have eaten using spectroscopy, saving the industry millions.


Superb cod from hotel


Cod from the “Cod Hotel” is a top-quality product, if it is handled properly and not kept too long without feed.


Social sustainability requirements


The Norwegian fisheries industry may soon have to prove that it is socially sustainable.


South Korea wants live seafood


Live Norwegian crab is popular, but the competition is tough. Research is providing valuable insight for companies that want to enter the Korean market.


See more examples of Creating Value

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