VIRTUAL NORWEGIAN SEAFOOD LUNCHEON: “EAST MEETS WEST”

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Wednesday, 02 December 2020 14:10

A Virtual Seafood Luncheon for industry and media

representatives in Kuala Lumpur was organised by the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) on 25 November, 2020. Preceded by an array of stunning photos depicting the cold, crystal-clear waters of Norway, the Welcome Speech was presented by the NSC’s Regional Director Asbjorn Warvik Rortveit who gave an overview of the market demand and consumer trends for Norwegian salmon and fjord trout. The NSC, he said, takes pride in the fact that Norwegian salmon has captured the top spot in global sustainable food ranking for two years running. Norway is the second biggest exporter of seafood in the world, after China.

NSC Regional Director Asbjorn Warvik Rortveit

 

Quoting from a recent study of more than 25 000 consumers across 20 markets performed by Kantar on behalf of the NSC, Mr Rortveit said that many markets in Asia are reporting increased demand for processed and pre-packed seafoods, as well as products with longer sell-by dates. The Norwegian seafood industry has learnt to adapt to these shifts in buyer preference; for example, 20 years ago one would not see salmon in sushi dishes in Japan but after targeted marketing, Atlantic salmon now ranks as the most popular sushi topping in Japan for many years in a row.

During January-October 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had an obvious impact on the Norwegian salmon and fjord trout market as compared to the same period in 2019. Apart from the Philippines (+4%), declines were seen for Indonesia (-40%), Malaysia (-19%), Singapore (-18%), Taiwan (-7%), Thailand (-14%), and Vietnam (-1%).

Specific to the Malaysian market, it is interesting to note that fresh fjord trout imports exceed fresh salmon; in January- October 2020, the decline for the former was by only 1%, whereas there was a 49% decline for salmon. Some 16% of Malaysian consumers eat salmon at least once a week, with 63% saying that salmon is their first choice in sushi restaurants. Asked about sustainability, 78% agreed it was important and an average of 80% preferred farmed to wild; against this context, 65% said that Norway is a preferred origin for salmon and fjord trout.

 

H.E. Gunn Jorid Roset

 

Norwegian Ambassador to Malaysia, Her Excellency Gunn Jorid Roset, gave a Welcome Address, after which Mr Rortveit introduced Chef Jordash DeCruz and Chef Steve Chua who showcased their fusion ‘East meets West’ dishes.

Seared fjord trout and roasted vegetable (Chef Jordash DeCruz)

 

Clockwise: Chef Jordash DeCruz (sous chef at Curious Kitchen in Kuala Lumpur), Chef Steve Chua (founder of Two Chefs Lab, a Japanese restaurant in Malaysia), Phyllis Teh, co-founder of Malaysian online store Art of Salmó, and Lars Fredrik Martinussen, Head of Communications, Nordlaks Group (Norway).

 

This was followed by interviews with Lars Fredrik Martinussen of the Nordlaks Group who spoke about the company’s sustainable farming operation; and Phyllis Teh, co-founder of Malaysian online store Art of Salmó that delivers Norwegian fjord trout direct to consumers.

Assorted nigiri sushi with Norwegian salmon (Chef Steve Chua)

 

 

 

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