As of August 2020, Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) reported NOK 2.3 Billion (approximately THB 7.87 billion) export value of fresh Norwegian Salmon and Fjord Trout, Thailand’s hero products, 99 per cent of the value from the same time last year before COVID-19 pandemic hit. The volume of fresh Salmon and Fjord Trout is only down 5% compared to last year. The trend shines light on a hopeful seafood market recovery despite challenges of economic strain, limitation in freights and restaurant consumptions in Thailand,
Asbj?rn Warvik R?rtveit, Southeast Asia Regional Director, Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC), reassured that, “Thailand remains an important market for Norwegian Salmon and this pandemic proves that it is a product that is here to stay. In the past 6-7 months, although restaurant consumptions are down significantly, a major shift in consumer behavior creates another rising demand in home consumption that compensates the loss. This has led to a sharp increase in sales of Norwegian Salmon and Fjord Trout in the grocery trade. Our marketing activities have shifted to a more digital-led approach to build online presence utilizing media partnerships and B2C campaigns. We are excited to see the developments in Thailand market in H2 2020 and 2021.”
Upholding the responsibility of seafood export as the country’s key business, the Norwegian seafood industry has kept up their stringent food safety measures and precautions at the highest level – before, during and after the pandemic. This includes swift communications with the authorities, food industry and the consumers including taking a stance to ensure that critical functions, such as data for advice on quotas and stock, remain operative. Results from expeditions and assessments are of great importance for fisheries and cooperation with other nations enabling producers to provide consumers with any relevant information if needed.
“Our responsibility is to provide safe and top-quality food to Thailand and the world. We are continuing our seafood production under the highest standards to ensure that food safety of Norwegian seafood is not at risk while also maintaining a sustainable production. We have 50 years of salmon farming success under our wings, meaning Norway is equipped with the technology and know-how to handle the challenges. In time of crisis like this, it is essential to be transparent and keep a close dialogue with the industry so that consumers can place their trust on seafood from Norway”, Asbj?rn added.
The pandemic has affected Thai consumer behaviors and require food safety reassurances and marketing approaches that need to be addressed differently. Local food businesses have to adapt to survive in time of disruption. Norwegian Seafood Council’s local partner, Thammachart Seafood, sealed their position as Thailand’s leader in seafood industry by closely monitoring the situation throughout the whole value chain, end-to-end, from the moment their fresh imported seafood products arrive until it gets served at the counter or delivered to a consumer’s front door while adjusting their marketing strategies to quickly secure strong presence in e-Commerce and actively penetrate delivery market.
Yeeran G. Davies, Chief Marketing Officer, Thammachart Seafood, revealed that, “With people being more careful of what they consume and more health concerned to fight off diseases and stay safe, a reliable food source is more important than ever. Our customers have always been at the core of our business. We have improvised our resources to accommodate new consumption trends and work on real-time customer feedbacks. Our e-Commerce channels provide invaluable data and insights to what Thai consumers are currently seeking and we come up with ideas to keep them engaged such as online cooking videos, new product developments and promotions (Cook in the bag, Salmon Garland, French Fish with preorder video linked to the recipe we give in the delivery box and whole salmon at promotion price which customers can choose different cutting, etc.). Additionally, employee welfare is also our main concern. We make sure they are working under a safe environment and that our warehouse is constantly sanitized. These are just a few of many measures that we have taken to ensure that we deliver the best products to our customers.”
In connection with THAIFEX - Anuga Asia 2020 held between 22-26 September 2020, the Norwegian Seafood Council hosted a Norwegian Seafood Seminar followed by a Grand Norwegian Seafood Dinner at The Westin Grande Sukhumvit Hotel, a day before the exhibition to address key issues and way forward related to seafood industry in Thailand. The seminar was honored by the presence of Norway’s Minister of Fisheries and Seafood, Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen, Ambassador Kjersti R?dsmoen from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Thailand as well as Norwegian Seafood Council’s key business partners.
Norway advertises on the quality and safety of Norwegian seafood products. The 'Seafood from Norway’ logo continues to serve as a country of origin mark helping retailers and wholesalers to promote their products and consumers to identify Norwegian seafood, particularly Salmon, at counters. Norwegian Seafood Council, together with Thammachart Seafood, Sushi Den, Zen Japanese Restaurant, Tops Supermarket and Pan Food, is currently running a Salmon O2O promotional campaign to increase awareness of Norway as a seafood nation and boost sales. For more information on Salmon campaign, please visit their official website.
About The Norwegian Seafood Council
The Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) is a public company owned by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries. NSC works together with the Norwegian fisheries and aquaculture industry to develop markets for Norwegian seafood, representing the country’s seafood exporters and the seafood industry. The trademark “Seafood from Norway” is a symbol of origin for Norwegian seafood caught or raised in the cold, clear waters of Norway.