Prices of Mediterranean aquaculture products weaken and costs continue to rise due to the steadily high volumes of European seabass and gilthead seabream that are coming into the market. Although consumers have a reason to be happy due to eventually more affordable prices (i.e. prices of European seabass and gilthead seabream remain at the 2012 level), producers are in a difficult position as profit margins have constantly been under pressure. Even if markets are in a position to absorb the larger volumes over time, more product innovation and the development of new products for new markets is clearly needed for a more long-term competitive supply-demand equilibrium of Mediterranean aquaculture (European seabass and Gilthead seabream – January 2014, FAO Market report).
WP5 explores and validates the technical and market feasibility of developing different product alternatives of specific Mediterranean aquaculture fish species (mainly European seabass, gilthead seabream and meagre) for commercial exploitation, analyzing the potential of different market opportunities, and taking into account socio-economic aspects and consumer requirements. WP5 specific objectives are:
- To identify the best market solution for each type of fish species, transforming them into new value-added products, tailor-made to satisfy the needs of different consumer profiles (children, senior, gourmet/premium, ethnic etc.), and adapted to the needs of diverse food and fish market channels.
- Not only will this approach allow the introduction into new consumer segments of diversified/new products via existing routes to market (i.e. retailers), but will do so also through currently under-exploited channels, like HoReCa and food caterers (e.g. school, university and hospital canteens).
The expected impact of the work undertaken within WP5 will be to enhance the competitiveness of Mediterranean aquaculture by improving its market performance through a supply chain-wide, market-oriented design of diversified or new types of added-value fish products for EU consumers and food supply actors.