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The top 5 trends shaping the salmon processing industry

As the salmon processing industry continues to evolve, staying informed about the latest trends and changes is crucial for companies aiming to maintain a competitive edge. The importance of innovation and adaptation cannot be overstated in this fast-paced market, where consumer demands and environmental considerations dictate the pace of change.

Posted on Apr 18 ,00:05

The top 5 trends shaping the salmon processing industry

In this article, we explore emerging trends that are reshaping the salmon processing industry, offering insights into how companies can innovate to meet the demands of today’s conscientious consumer.

1. Sustainability and traceability

Amid rising awareness about the environmental impact of dietary choices, salmon stands out for its favorable sustainability metrics compared to other protein sources. Fish farming is one of the most climate-friendly types of animal husbandry, with a smaller carbon footprint than meat and poultry. However, aquaculture is not without its environmental challenges. Salmon farmers must carefully manage factors such as fish health, selection of feed, escape prevention, plastic management, medicine use and conservation of biodiversity.

To meet the demand for transparency about sustainability, salmon companies are investing in advanced food product traceability software that ensures full traceability of salmon products, providing a complete overview of its journey through processing. These efforts not only enhance consumer confidence by ensuring the authenticity of sustainable and responsibly sourced salmon but also play a crucial role in preventing illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices.

2. Automation and robotics

The integration of automation and robotics into salmon processing operations is becoming increasingly prevalent and crucial to maintain a competitive edge. These technologies offer numerous benefits, including enhanced efficiency, reduced labor costs and minimized human error.

Automation in processes such as salmon filleting, portioning, slicing and packaging ensures consistent product quality and faster throughput. Robotics, equipped with advanced 3D and X-ray vision systems, are increasingly being deployed for tasks requiring precision such as salmon pin bone removal and quality inspection. This trend is not only improving operational efficiencies but also addresses the challenge of labor shortages.

3. Product innovation

Driven by a growing appetite for convenience and diverse culinary experiences, consumer preferences are shifting toward ready-to-eat and easy-to-prepare meal options. These products offer convenience and variety, appealing to a broader range of consumers and creating new market opportunities for processors.

To cater to these demands, companies are investing in salmon processing solutions for value-added products such as salmon marinating equipment, low-pressure formers for salmon burgers and fish cakes, and slicers and batchers for smoked salmon as well as sushi and sashimi. With sophisticated technology, these solutions help automate the production of premium, value-added products that have traditionally required highly skilled workers.

4. Health and wellness trends

As consumers become increasingly health-conscious, there’s a noticeable shift toward incorporating more salmon as a protein source. Recognized for its high nutritional value, salmon is packed with essential micronutrients, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, high-quality protein and vitamins. This move is further supported by global health authorities promoting increased seafood intake, particularly oily fish like salmon.

As part of this trend, consumers are also increasingly discerning about food safety and origins, emphasizing the need for salmon processors to ensure traceability with software and labelers that can easily create detailed labels about your product’s journey from sea to supermarket. This not only ensures compliance with regulations but also gives processors the opportunity to showcase the specific origins, quality and nutritional value of their salmon products.

5. Growing demand

Consumption of salmon and other fish varieties is on the rise, fueled by global population growth, higher disposable incomes and an increase in health awareness. However, the growth of production is likely to lag demand due to limitations on how quickly salmon farming can sustainably grow, as well as challenges posed by rising costs for inputs such as raw materials, feed, labor, energy and freight.

In response to these pressures, salmon processors must prioritize strategies that not only enhance their overall capacity but also maximize the value of raw materials. This includes investing in digital and automated solutions that can help increase yield and extend shelf life while simultaneously addressing ever-growing labor scarcity, a global issue that is not going away soon.

Preparing for the future with cutting-edge solutions

For salmon processors, evolving consumer demands, sustainability concerns and technological breakthroughs present great opportunity and challenges. To remain competitive and responsive in this changing market, embracing innovation and efficiency is key. As a leading provider of innovative salmon processing solutions, Marel offers exceptional solutions, software and services to ensure your operations are well-positioned for success in today’s dynamic market. Get in touch to learn more about how Marel can support your business on this journey.

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