Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

European consumer preferences for smoked salmon

The study concerns 30 smoked salmons, chosen for their sensory criteria and typical of the European market. Five countries were retained for the need of this survey: France, The United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and Italy, which alone count for 80 percent of sales in Europe. Consequently, we can say that more than 1000 consumers have tested the salmons and given their opinion.

According to this study, 80 percent of the consumers consider the appearance and the colour of the smoked salmon as being important criteria during purchasing.

5 groups of consumers having different preferences according to products were identified. Their preferences did not seem to be strongly linked to the consumer mother country. Each of the 5 groups of consumers approximately represented 20 percent European studied population.

Group 1 looks for smoked smelling and tasting (all kinds of smoking).

Group 2 appreciates low salted products and seems to be little sensitive to any sensory spoilage note.

Group 3 definitely prefers little salted and little smoked salmon and likes the «fish» note.

Group 4 likes salted products with a wood fire specific smelling.

Group 5 consumer establish their preferences according to the appearance (homogeneous) and the colour (orange) of the salmon slices.

It can be then easily understood that the Industry has to offer a large range of smoked salmon to satisfy all the consumers. Moreover, it seems that communication to the consumers could be done in another way, by means of informative labels on potential sensory characteristics of the sold products, low or high level of smoking or salting for instance.

Generally, this study also reveals, on the consumer market, the existence of products showing signs of sensory damage.

This study has shown that « smoked salmon » is a real European product for which the consumer appreciation is mostly independent of cultural frontiers. In this context, smoked salmon production and marketing network will play an important part in the years to come, to meet the consumer’s requirements. The results of this study represent a great help to achieve this aim.

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