Love Seafood marketing activity featuring UK species

Seafood businesses encouraged to support campaign featuring species caught by UK fishing fleet at crucial time for industry.
Love Seafood by Seafish logo

We’re partnering with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to deliver an additional Love Seafood campaign featuring UK fish and shellfish this spring. The campaign forms part of drive to strengthen and build wider seafood category, helping all seafood businesses through the Love Seafood consumer brand. Love Seafood is a 20-year initiative to shift seafood consumption levels in the UK, and over time will feature many different species and product types as it seeks to change attitudes.  

Seafood consumption in the UK 

The past year has been challenging for many seafood businesses as they faced the impacts of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Despite significant setbacks in 2020, caused by the pandemic, retail continues to perform well.   

Overall seafood consumption stats showed an annual increase in 2019, indicating potential change in the longer-term downward trend since 2007, driven by the recession. According to the latest Defra Family Food Survey, UK households consumed an average 161g of seafood per person per week in 2019, which was 5.6% more than in 2018. However, retail and foodservice data for 2020 indicates that overall seafood sales declined compared to 2019. While multiple retailer sales boomed at +11 %, the higher value, commercial out of home sales fell at -40%, causing the overall decline.  

Recipe photos - crab linguine and calamari
Love Seafood recipe photos - crab linguine and calamari

About the new campaign 

The UK Government is providing support for a campaign featuring key UK species. We’re partnering with Defra to deliver the campaign. We’re working with our Love Seafood agency partners to deliver the campaign and contributing staff resource for campaign management.  

The campaign will launch in the first week of March and run for four weeks. Content will drive awareness of species caught by the UK fleet which are traditionally exported to Europe or to hospitality. Species of fish and shellfish to feature include:  

  • Nephrops / langoustines, crab, lobster  
  • Scallops, oysters, clams, mussels  
  • Squid, cuttlefish  
  • Turbot, plaice, sole  
  • Monkfish / angler fish  

The campaign will target mid-market families, a key audience demographic for Love Seafood and one which is already outperforming other target audience groups in engaging with the brand. This was also a key demographic group for the Sea For Yourself marketing campaign featuring UK seafood which Seafish and Defra partnered on last summer.   

Building on the strong foundations already laid down since Love Seafood launched last October, activity for this campaign supports two existing brand objectives:  

  • Driving understanding of reasons to buy seafood – choice, convenience and balanced living.  
  • Driving desire to eat more seafood, more often.  

The campaign will take a media-first approach, aiming to secure maximum reach and frequency with its target audience across the UK. This will include both:  

  • National activity highlighting hero species, centred on recipes and health features.  
  • Regional activity showcasing local seafood champions with prompts on how to access locally caught species.  

YouGov and One Pulse research will also be carried out pre- and post-campaign. This will provide baseline stats and be used to evaluate campaign success. The campaign goals focus on reach, perceptions and propensity to purchase.  

Recipe photos - squid stir fry and clams with garlic
Love Seafood recipe photos - squid stir fry and clams with garlic

Note from our Head of Marketing 

Greg Smith, Head of Marketing at Seafish said:

We’re absolutely delighted to be partnering with Defra to deliver additional Love Seafood marketing activity featuring UK species, at a crucial time for the sector. We’ve heard concerns from industry about the challenges they are facing and we know it’s been a really difficult year for many seafood businesses. We’re responding with more activity that will help drive awareness of seafood across the UK.

Changing perceptions is the first step towards increasing seafood consumption in the UK over the long term – the goal for our Love Seafood initiative. We were heartened by a consumption increase in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, but we know there’s still a lot more work to do, especially now.

We’re calling on seafood businesses across the UK to join in when the latest Love Seafood campaign launches in early March. Sharing a single, powerful message about the value of seafood to UK consumers will grow the presence and prominence of the entire category. Together we can help build the profile of seafood across the nation, and in the hearts and minds of the nation.

Further info and contacts 

More information about the campaign and how businesses can get involved is available from the link below 

For business enquiries contact loveseafood@seafish.co.uk.