With all the emphasis on healthy eating, it would seem that consumers would be ordering more seafood at restaurants. Fish is generally lower in fat, cholesterol and calories than red meat and many species boast a generous dose of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. While fish is among the most popular foods ordered as part of a healthy/light meal, the reality is shares of total seafood entree servings by type have remained generally unchanged over time, according to consumer research by NPD Crest for the National Fisheries Institute. That said, knowing the preferences of seafood customers can help sell more fish.
- Total seafood entree servings number 3.3 billion a year. Fish and shellfish entrees are primarily purchased at dinnertime
- Breaded, unbreaded and blackened are the three favorite cooking methods for fish. When it comes to shrimp, breaded and unbreaded are also the top choices, but diners prefer other shellfish to be boiled or steamed
- Seafood is purchased mainly at full-service restaurants vs. quickservice outlets, but QSRs account for 9 in 10 sandwich orders. Total seafood sandwich servings equals 866 million
- Among full-service restaurants, casual dining has the greatest share of seafood entree servings: 40%. Midscale accounts for 28% and fine dining comes in at 12%
- 64% of consumers are willing to pay more for fish, shellfish or sushi than chicken