Mumbai, October 31: Efforts are underway to make one of Norway's best-known exports, the salmon, a seafood delicacy that's available easily to Indians and not restricted to fancy restaurants and eateries.
The Norwegian Seafood Council, an umbrella organisation that promotes and markets this key industry of the Scandinavian country the world over, is starting a campaign to make Indian importers understand this potential and promote such produce in the country.
"The Council sees a huge potential in India and foresee a development in India similar to the very positive change in demand for salmon from Norway that we have seen in such countries as Russia and China," a statement by the organisation said.
It said these countries were not familiar with the Norwegian salmon 10-15 years ago, but are seeing a rapid growth in demand in recent years. Russia, in fact, has emerged as the most important market.
“We are still at an early stage and building our competence about the Indian seafood market and establishing contacts with relevant partners in India step by step,” said Christian Chramer, director with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
"India has a large population with a large middle class, which will eat healthier, be aware of the healthy benefits of the Omega 3 in seafood and enjoy more and more salmon as sushi and sashimi have been on the buffet menu of five star hotels for many years."
Chramer hopes such consumers can soon salmon at home or eat it in normal restaurants.
Eventually, the council feels, India will have a market for Norway's other seafood exports, such trout, cod, saithe, haddock, prawns, shellfish, herring, mackerel and capelin. Norwegian salted fish, clip fish and stock fish are also popular.
The council feels while households and small buyers in India will be able to shop for these at fine food outlets and hypermarkets, the high-volume consumers can import such products from Norway directly.
Norway's seafood exports, which reaches some 140 countries, topped $9 billion in 2013, logging a 13-percent growth over the previous year. The total export value of Norwegian salmon and Fjord trout alone was $6.25 billion, as per data available with the council.