Public urged to ‘Mussel Up’ with launch of National Mussel Day as strong sales data is revealed

05 October 2017

The public is being urged to 'mussel up' by seafood producers and seafood organisations who have come together to launch the first ever National Mussel Day on 7th October 2017. The day is being launched in partnership with Seafish's annual promotional campaign Seafood Week which runs from 6th October to 13th October. 

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The announcement comes as new data shows an impressive increase in sales of mussels. Servings of mussels in the UK foodservice sector are up 22% (NPD Crest data 52 weeks to end of June 17) and up 9% in value, 7% in volume in the UK retail market (AC Nielson ScanTrack YE 12.08.17).

National Mussel Day has been organised to encourage the public to discover or re-discover mussels through social media promotions, recipes, and offers provided by national mussel producers and the industry's leading organisations on seafood. 

The campaign will utilise the dedicated hashtag #MusselUp for public and industry to use on social media. Mussel fans will be encouraged to share their favourite dishes and mussel producers will feature exclusive and unique mussel recipes to try, share engaging facts and information on how to purchase mussels year-round.  

Seafood Week, organised by Seafish, celebrates a different species each day and National Mussel Day will be taking place on Saturday - the day chosen for mussels to be the primary focus.

Heather Middleton, Marketing Manager of Seafish said: 

"We are delighted that National Mussel Day will be taking place during Seafood Week. This industry-led initiative will shine a spotlight on mussels and highlight how delicious and nutritious they are.

"Each year for Seafood Week we promote mussels by showing consumers how easy mussels are to cook and how delicious they are to eat. National Mussel Day will step up this work and enable the wider industry to support these efforts.

"It is a great example of how industry can make Seafood Week their own and celebrate the rich diversity of fish and shellfish available in the UK."

Mussel farming is a significant and growing aquaculture sector in Scotland and a highly environmentally sustainable, low-impact industry. The sector was estimated to be worth £10.1m (farmed production price) in 2016, with the highest ever production level recorded in Scotland alone at 7,732 tonnes, a 6% year on year increase and 60% increase since 2007 (Source Marine Scotland Science Scottish Shellfish Farm Production Survey 2016). 

Mussels are easy to cook and work with a range of flavours from a drop of white wine to a punchy curry and provide essential vitamins including iron, zinc, vitamin A, B12 as well as important omega-3 fatty acids. 

Available in a variety of formats, mussels can be bought live from the fish counter, ready cooked in a range of exciting sauces or even smoked from most major supermarkets and independent fishmongers throughout the UK. 

Stephen Cameron, Managing Director for Scottish Shellfish stated: 

"As the UK's largest sustainably certified mussel producer we are delighted there is going to be a National Mussels Day. Not only are they a superfood loved by nutritionists and fitness professionals due to their high protein, low fat content but they are environmentally friendly too! What more could you want from a food product?" 

 

Cameron Brown, Managing Director of Loch Fyne Oysters Ltd said:

"The mussels from Loch Fyne Oysters are naturally grown from the pristine waters of Loch Roag on the Isle of Lewis. We are very proud to be the first blue mussel farmer in the world to receive certification from ASC, which is recognition of Loch Fyne Oysters dedication and hard work to provide ethically grown and environmentally friendly mussels to our customers around the globe. National Mussel Day is a great way to encourage people to try mussels if they haven't before, or remind those who have about such a tasty and healthy product."

James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink, commented:

"Delicious Scottish produce is enjoyed and celebrated across the world but we could all do more to appreciate the fantastic food and drink available on our doorstep. What better way to honour the exceptional mussels that come from Scotland than with a day dedicated to celebrating this delightful Scottish delicacy. I look forward to seeing the many different ways that the public, businesses, and of course farmers, enjoy National Mussel Day 2017."

 

Clare Dean, Trade Marketing Manager of Seafood Scotland said: 

"It's great to see the Scottish industry get behind the first ever National Mussel Day. As an innovative, vibrant and successful part of the Scottish Seafood Industry, we're going to be encouraging the food service sector, chefs and caterers in particular to celebrate and utilise this healthy, sustainable and affordable product, produced on our doorstep to the highest quality - we're very much looking forward to putting some muscle behind the mussels."

About National Mussel Day and Seafood Week:

Seafood Week is an annual campaign aimed at getting more people to eat more fish more often. It is the first time that National Mussel Day has been incorporated into the campaign. Seafish runs the eight-day celebration every October and highlights the variety and quality of fish and shellfish on offer in the UK. The campaign is co-ordinated by Seafish as a flexible platform for businesses and organisations from across the industry and throughout the supply chain to get involved.