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    Seafood's Health, Environmental Benefits Can Revive the Category: Study

    Annual per capita consumption of seafood will fall to 15.8 pounds in 2009 from 16.3 pounds in 2007, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    Promoting the health and environmental benefits of seafood may help revive fresh and frozen fish consumption, according to a new report from market research firm Packaged Facts.

    According to "The U.S. Market for Seafood," data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggests that annual per capita consumption will fall from 16.3 pounds in 2007 to 15.8 pounds in 2009, before rebounding in 2010, and this is hurting the fresh and frozen seafood market in both the foodservice (where most fish is eaten) and retail venues, although the decline in fresh fish purchases may boost sales of value-priced canned fish.

    However, marketers and retailers can reverse this trend by emphasizing the health benefits of seafood, as well as demonstrating their commitment to the environment by implementing sustainable practices in the raising, harvesting and selling of fish.

    "Fish is a high-protein food that provides a range of health benefits," said Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts. "White-fleshed fish is lower in fat than any other source of animal protein, and oily fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Since the human body can't make significant amounts of these essential nutrients, fish are an important part of the diet."

    Another selling point for seafood is sustainability, and the sustainable seafood movement has gained momentum as more people become aware of overfishing and environmentally harmful fishing methods.

    The U.S. Market for Seafood takes an in-depth look at the $20 billion U.S. seafood industry. It tracks key trends affecting U.S. seafood supply and demand, and provides an analysis of the driving forces within the industry, including the import/export supply chain, consumer attitudes, competitor analysis, environmental data.

    The report is available for purchase at http://www.packagedfacts.com/Seafood-Focus-Fresh-1737415/.
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