Norweigan Seafood Council reports on seafood consumption in Malaysia

Asbjørn Warvik Rørtveit, NSC regional director on Malaysians seafood consumption. Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council

Fresh and frozen fish is a large part of the diet in Malaysia. According to a report released by the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC), 87 percent of the Malaysian respondents eat seafood at least once a week and 45 percent eat it twice a week. A love for sushi shows in Malaysia with fresh salmon being the most preferred choice and half of the Malaysian respondents eat sushi at least once a month.

The report concludes that 78 percent prefer to eat seafood at home while only 29 percent chose to eat out. Asbjørn Warvik Rørtveit, NSC regional director says in an interview with The Malaysian Reserve that home consumption is bigger than restaurant consumption in Malaysia. In other countries, it is the opposite.

Malaysians have a preference for imported seafood as it is believed that the country of origin speaks quality. The national lockdown in South East Asia in March however resulted in a drop in sales. It is in particular salmon that has had bigger declines with a 49% drop in fresh and 23% is frozen.

Malaysians are also aware of issues that surround climate change and sustainability has become one of the main concerns among Malaysian consumers. According to the NSC report, 78% of Malaysians think sustainability is important when buying seafood and more are concerned about how items like fjord trout and salmon are produced.

According to NCS’s resort, Thailand is the largest Norwegian seafood consumer in South-East Asia. The report concludes that prices of seafood are not consistent between the southeast Asian region and salmon is cheaper in Thailand. Thailand is followed by Vietnam and Taiwan in terms of the largest consumers of Norwegian seafood and Malaysia is the sixth-largest market.

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