Research into Polish seafood production and consumption by Market Data Forecast shows that consumer preferences for seafood remain strong but purchases are slowed by high prices in recent years. Driven by considerations of the nutritional value of seafood, Poles eat about 12-13kg of fish and seafood annually, with total seafood expenditures topping EUR 912 million in 2022. Popular fish and seafood items in Poland include fresh fish, smoked fish, frozen fish, canned fish, and preserved fish – marinated or in various sauces.
Although the value of such purchases rose in 2022, the volume fell, because of declining real incomes throughout society and in the retail cost of food particularly, where the seafood category rose in price faster than other protein sources. Thus, sales value rose by 5% while volume fell by 8%. Seafood prices are normally higher than prices of other meats, but in 2022 they rose by 14%, to a premium of 45% over other meats and 35% over the price of cold cuts. These high prices combined with the increased price sensitivity of consumers to explain the declines in volumes sold.
Rising seafood processing costs are behind these rising retail prices, as producers battle hikes in energy and raw material prices. Much of the raw material, such as salmon, is imported and its price has reportedly been rising in recent years. Energy prices have been unstable throughout Europe for many reasons.
The researchers behind this latest study report that this adverse situation is probably temporary, and they find signs that pressures will ease in 2023.