Continued limited supply and increasing demand are driving further price increases of fresh salmon by as much as 16%, says Beacon, Britain’s leading purchasing company. The company, which works in partnership with seafood suppliers to purchase on behalf of more than 2,000 businesses across the UK, is warning that the salmon shortage could affect Christmas menus and supply for the rest of the year.
The demand for salmon is currently outstripping supply due to a number of factors including overharvesting of salmon in Norway and Scotland following an outbreak of sea lice, as well as unusually cold weather, resulting in reduced growth. This year, another factor affecting supply is the toxic algae bloom which has hit several areas of Chile, meaning that an estimated 123,000 tonnes of fish have been lost so far this year.
Since February 2016, Beacon has recorded price increases of up to 16% for Atlantic Salmon, and is now advising the hospitality industry to think longer term when planning menus using the popular fish. M&J Seafood, a leading Beacon supplier, described the market as “volatile and not performing as you might expect”, with the length of time prices will be impacted for remaining “unclear”.
Emma Warrington, Senior Food Buyer at Beacon, commented:
“The market is volatile at the moment with demand continuing to outstrip supply so our advice would be to start to look at alternative products for your Christmas menu planning, or factor in potential price increases for salmon products. Working with M&J Seafood and Direct Seafoods, our key suppliers, we are encouraging our chefs to think carefully about planning both their immediate menus and as well as festive season specials to be less reliant on salmon.”
“As well as planning their purchasing and menu creation carefully over the next six months, chefs should also be considering the alternatives to salmon. Sea trout is a great, lower cost alternative, also known as ocean trout or salmon trout, with a texture midway between salmon and farmed trout. Chefs might also consider dishes such as a trio of fish for Christmas menus, providing great plate coverage, interest and less reliance on purchasing large quantities of salmon.