Millennials choose eco-friendly fish

52 per cent of the millennial generation choose fish and seafood labelled with the blue MSC label compared to 37 per cent of the over 50-year-olds, according to a report released by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

The British consumers use more on eco-labelled seafood than ever before, with £754m spent in 2016/2017 compared to £509m spent in 2015/2016. 18 to 34-year-old millennials are leading this trend.

Danielle Pinnington, MD at shopper research agency Shoppercentric, said: “It is encouraging that millennials are demonstrating the kinds of attitudes that will push suppliers and retailers to take ethical sourcing seriously. There is plenty of evidence emerging that the younger generation of shoppers are interested in the provenance and ethics of the products they are buying.”

MSC certified products are increasing 20% year a year – this growth had an enormous impact on shopping habits. The MSC label can be found on a wide range of products from fresh, frozen and tinned fish to pet food, fish oil health supplements and baby food.

The MSC label aims guide consumers to choose sustainable products in order to protect the oceans. More brands and retailers are choosing to use the MSC label than ever before. Sainsbury’s leads the way in the UK, offering over 200 certified products – more MSC labelled products than any other national retailer worldwide. It is closely followed by Waitrose, Tesco, Lidl and Aldi.

Even though the statistics show otherwise, there are millennials who don’t prioritise the environment while food-shopping.

“I stay with my mum so if you live with another person you need to see what they want as well. One thing I do sustainably is that I never buy a bottle of water”, Strathclyde student Holly Marley said.

“I tend to go for what I want to eat, I don’t think I’d pay extra for something being environment-friendly”, said Qaseem Ali, a Strathclyde chemical engineering student.

Educating consumers and increasing public understanding of sustainable seafood is a vital part of MSC’s plans for 2018, says the report. Later this year will see the launch of its ‘Keep it Wild – choose the blue fish’ campaign across the UK, that aims to reach consumers through joint partnerships, ambassadors and storytelling.

By Suvi Loponen