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Improve sustainability and profitability with alternative fish dishes this Seafood Week

Seafood Week is underway and Beacon is encouraging operators to consider alternative fish and seafood items on their menus. The seafood market has always been volatile, but never more so than now, with widespread price increases of up to 16% for fresh salmon and recently reported pressure on the EU prawn market likely to impact pricing very soon.

Beacon works closely with leading seafood suppliers Direct Seafoods and M&J Seafood, as well as over 1500 hospitality businesses, spending in excess of £2M on fish and seafood products each year. Drawing on advice from these suppliers Emma Warrington, Senior Food Buyer at Beacon, has compiled her top alternative menu items for operators looking to improve profitability and sustainability on their food menus:

Avoid cod and replace with hake or coley
With supply of Norwegian cod shrinking there is currently more demand and less volume, which is driving up costs – prices are currently at around £3 per kilogram for long-line caught cod, which has seen an increase of 10p in just two months[1]. Consider more cost effective alternatives like hake or coley, both of which are sustainable in volume and offer a similar product at a lower cost.

Salmon prices are still up, so consider sea-reared trout
We recently reported that salmon prices were at an all time high, with increases of up to 16% for fresh salmon. Although prices are now stabilising, they are still much higher than last year. With that said, try replacing salmon with sea trout for healthier margins on menus.

Halibut volumes are down, so replace with gilthead bream
Halibut has a long life span, meaning that some farms are not harvesting at the moment as they wait for the fish to grow in size. A good alternative is gilthead bream, a species where both volume and quality remain high despite market turbulence.

Consider Scottish langoustines instead of prawns
Reports from Direct Seafoods show there is evidence of significant pressures on the European prawn market as demand soars along with supply shortfalls. Scottish langoustines supply is currently excellent quality and can be used as an effective alternative.

Emma commented: “Seafood Week allows us to put a spotlight on the many opportunities there are for operators to increase profitability and sustainability with a few simple changes to menus. Experimenting with alternative products can add a point of difference to your menu and allow you to display UK provenance, with Scotland and the South West currently producing fantastic quality fish and seafood in particular.”