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What's new in the marine sector?

  • Published 21/03/2013
New fish counters, meeting with a president and new insights into people’s perception of enriched seafood. These are some of the results from the first year of the Nordic Marine Innovation Programme.

 

New fish counters, meeting with a president and new insights into people’s perception of enriched seafood. These are some of the results from the first year of the Nordic Marine Innovation Programme. 
The Nordic Marine Innovation programme’s 14 projects have run for over a year. While some have several years left, others are already finished. Common for all of them are that they can display interesting findings, and you will now get a sneak peek into some of them. For a full status update, participate at the midterm conference 5th June in Iceland. 
Meeting with the president
The first project we will visit, North Atlantic Ocean Cluster, has already been rewarding. By working together they have discover a common North Atlantic interest for the waste-problem in the marine industry. That is the reason behind their workshop tour, “Turning waste into value”, which focus on byproducts and the utilization of them. However, maybe more important, at one of their project meetings, they managed to arranged a meeting with the Icelandic president. 
Leading algae-region
The Nordic Algae Network states that the Nordics is poised to be a leading region within algae productions. The purpose of the network is to discover the strengths and weaknesses of the different countries. Until today, they have visited Norway, Denmark and Iceland. The results from Icelandic workshop states that Iceland is set to become a leading country in the utilization and value addition of algae in the future. 
Branding of whitefish
Whitefish from the North Atlantic are primly sourced from sustainable stocks, they are wholesome to eat and preliminary studies shows that they are associated with comparatively low environmental impact. In an ideal world, this would give these products a competitive advantage and higher price in the market, but currently this is not the case. An underlying cause for this is the lack of market differentiation. 
The project WhiteFishMall aims to build a branding platform for the whitefish from the North Atlantic. Trough focus groups and studies they have learned that consumers want a personalized connection or relation to the seafood supplier in order to trust product information and feel confident buying seafood. The consumers miss the fishmongers and to be able to ask questions about where the fish are caught and how to handle it. To replace this the fish counters, packing, and the whole shopping experience must be focused on the customer’s needs. 
Common Nordic fishmonger’s standard
The project Innovative fish counters has already reached a common agreement on an industry standard concerning the fishmongers in the Nordic countries. The focus in this work has been to develop a standard that is useable as an everyday tool for the fishmongers. Another important part of this project is the Nordic Championship in Fish & Shellfish. To be able to hold a proper Nordic championship there was need for a Nordic standard. Through the contest, they found the most talented fishmonger in the Nordics, and Jonas Wickstrand (Sweden) went all the way. 
Enrichment of seafood
One of the main achievements in the project, Enriched Convenience Seafood Products, is the concept testing among Icelandic consumers about various effects of information about enrichment of seafood with among others omega-3 and seaweed extract. Generally, enrichment effected the consumers taste negatively, but information about functional properties has a positive effect on buying intentions. One other interesting finding is that older people (55 years+) were more positive towards functional foods than younger. The findings from the studies will be used by seafood producers for product development and in marketing of enriched seafood. Later, another study will be performed in Finland to further analyze this issue.  

The Nordic Marine Innovation programme’s 14 projects have run for over a year. While some have several years left, others are already finished. Common for all of them are that they can display interesting findings, and you will now get a sneak peek into some of them. For a full status update, participate at the midterm conference 5th June in Iceland. 

 

Meeting with the president

The first project we will visit, North Atlantic Ocean Cluster, has already been rewarding. By working together they have discover a common North Atlantic interest for the waste-problem in the marine industry. That is the reason behind their workshop tour, “Turning waste into value”, which focus on by-products and the utilization of them. However, and maybe more importantly, at one of their project meetings, they managed to arrange a meeting with the Icelandic president. 

 

Leading algae-region

The Nordic Algae Network states that the Nordics is poised to be a leading region within algae productions. The purpose of the network is to discover the strengths and weaknesses of the different countries. Until today, they have visited Norway, Denmark and Iceland. The results from Icelandic workshop states that Iceland is set to become a leading country in the utilization and value addition of algae in the future. 

 

Branding of whitefish

Whitefish from the North Atlantic are primly sourced from sustainable stocks, they are wholesome to eat and preliminary studies shows that they are associated with comparatively low environmental impact. In an ideal world, this would give these products a competitive advantage and higher price in the market, but currently this is not the case. An underlying cause for this is the lack of market differentiation. 

 

The project WhiteFishMall aims to build a branding platform for the whitefish from the North Atlantic. Through focus groups and studies they have learned that consumers want a personalized connection or relation to the seafood supplier in order to trust product information and feel confident when buying seafood. The consumers miss the fishmongers and to be able to ask questions about where the fish are caught and how to handle it. To replace this the fish counters, packing, and the whole shopping experience must be focused on the customer’s needs. 

 

Common standard for Nordic fishmongers

The project Innovative fish counters has already reached a common agreement on an industry standard concerning the fishmongers in the Nordic countries. The focus in this work has been to develop a standard that is useable as an everyday tool for the fishmongers. Another important part of this project is the Nordic Championship in Fish & Shellfish. To be able to hold a proper Nordic championship there was need for a Nordic standard. Through the contest, they found the most talented fishmonger in the Nordics, and Jonas Wickstrand (Sweden) went all the way. 

 

Enrichment of seafood

One of the main achievements in the project, Enriched Convenience Seafood Products, is the concept testing among Icelandic consumers about various effects of information about enrichment of seafood with among others omega-3 and seaweed extract. Generally, enrichment effected the consumers taste negatively, but information about functional properties has a positive effect on buying intentions. One other interesting finding is that older people (55 years+) were more positive towards functional foods than younger. The findings from the studies will be used by seafood producers for product development and in marketing of enriched seafood. Later, another study will be performed in Finland to further analyze this issue.