Finn-Arne Egeness, Morten Heide and the other marketing researchers in Nofima help the Norwegian seafood industry to succeed in different markets. Photo: Audun Iversen/Nofima

Marketing research

Nofima carries out research into the market opportunities for Norwegian seafood, and the barriers faced. This knowledge helps the industry to develop new products, markets and strategies, and is used by authorities when dealing with issues of marketing and health policy.

Contact person
Portrettbilde av Pirjo Honkanen
Pirjo Honkanen

Research Director
Phone: +47 915 94 520

We offer:
  • Market knowledge
  • Industry-specific strategy
  • Consumer studies
  • Consultation in sustainability and environmental labelling
  • Market analysis
  • In-depth knowledge about individual seafood markets
  • Market segmentation
  • Testing of products and concepts

We carry out research into marketing and markets, with a focus on the seafood industry. Our results help companies draw up efficient marketing strategies, and improve their dialogue with consumers and customers.

Consumer behaviour

There are many opportunities for Norwegian seafood in the markets. In order to exploit these optimally, it is necessary to understand what influences buying decisions taken by consumers and industrial purchasers.

The decision of a consumer to buy fish for dinner may be a planned decision, an impulsive decision, or a habit. Nofima uses various approaches to discover how decisions are taken and what influences consumer actions. Many factors play a role: personality, attitudes, advertising, packaging, etc. Producers can use this knowledge in market segmentation, product development and communication with consumers.

We also carry out research into the food preferences of children, one result of which is a list of recommendations of how to get children to eat more healthy food.

Behaviour of industrial purchasers, supermarket chains, and the hotel and restaurant industry

When industrial purchasers choose seafood, the decision may be affected by anything from internal company considerations to influence from non-governmental organisations. For this reason, we study how such decisions are taken, and the criteria that lie behind the final decision.

We investigate also how differences in company culture influence the relationship between seller and buyer. A doctoral thesis revealed important cultural differences between Norwegian exporters and Russian importers, and identified the factors that determined whether a deal was successfully reached or not.

Marketing strategies

Our scientists acquire knowledge about how seafood companies evaluate markets, and how they adapt to structural conditions and requirements from both consumers and industrial customers. This knowledge forms the basis for our advice about marketing strategy. The correct strategy is crucial to market success, and there are many pathways that can be chosen. Our scientists have long experience in studying the effects of central factors such as price, product, distribution and communication. The projects on which we are currently working include marketing opportunities for Norwegian dried and salted fish in Brazil, and Norwegian salmon in South Africa.

It is our goal to obtain knowledge into how the properties of Norwegian seafood can best be exploited, such that companies can achieve the highest competitive advantage and profitability. Keywords here are differentiation, positioning and niche strategies.

Development of products and concepts

A comprehensive understanding of market demands is required in order to be successful in today’s food market. We collect knowledge about what the market considers to be important properties for a product. This knowledge allows companies to develop products that are in line with the needs and desires of the market.

The concept and product development projects that our scientists have contributed to include products based on frozen shrimps, tests of souvenir products from King Oscar, and the development of ready-to-eat meals based on fish for young people.


Marketing researchers at Nofima have long experience in investigating how marketing targets relate to sustainability and environmental labelling, and the requirements that the market places on Norwegian companies. Such knowledge allows the exporters to succeed in different markets and to use differentiated strategies.

One conclusion from our research is that there are many important markets in which products that lack sustainability certification will not succeed. It is mainly supermarkets that request sustainability certification – there are many markets in which the consumers are not very familiar with the certification schemes.

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