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Salmon is UK’s favourite fish as sales rise by more than 3%. Salmon is the most popular fish among UK consumers, with new figures showing sales are up 3.2 per cent in a year. With Scottish salmon taking centre stage in this year’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations – including receptions in Holyrood and in the British Embassy in Paris – data shows that sales reached £1.25 billion in the 12 months to September, making up nearly 30 per cent of all fish bought in the UK. The coming weeks are also expected to see an uptick in sales as families buy Scottish salmon for Christmas festivities.

The 3.2 per cent year-on-year increase for salmon sales within the UK is higher than the 2.5 per cent increase recorded for all fish. In the chilled seafood sector, salmon increased its value share of the top ten chilled species to 48.7 per cent (+0.9 points), selling around four times its nearest competitor, warm water prawns.  While inflation has driven prices of all seafood higher, salmon increased at a lower rate than the overall food and drink category. Trade body Salmon Scotland said the figures reflect the continued demand for nutritious Scottish salmon raised in the waters off the coast of the Highlands and islands.

The Scottish Parliament will mark St Andrew’s Day with an event which celebrates Scottish food and drink, including Scottish salmon. It has been arranged by the Cross Party Group (CPG) on St Andrew’s Day, which is convened by MSP Michelle Thomson. Separately, the British Embassy in Paris will once again host an event to celebrate the global success of Scottish salmon.

The value of Scottish salmon exports has jumped by 7 per cent in a year as international demand also continues to grow, with France remaining the top destination. On a rolling annual basis up to the end of September, exports of the nutritious fish stood at £611 million – confirming the nutritious fish’s place as the UK’s top food export.

Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said:

“Scottish salmon’s success as the UK’s biggest food export is well known, but salmon is also by far the most popular fish here at home as well. Salmon accounts for nearly a third of all UK seafood sales, with consumers eager for a highly nutritious meal that is locally sourced. While this is fantastic news for the health of the nation, it’s also a reminder that salmon is vital for our economy, supporting thousands of jobs – both in remote coastal communities and right across Scotland. As we mark St Andrew’s Day, I pay tribute to our dedicated farmers and everyone working in the supply chain who are striving to meet the demand for the country’s favourite fish.”

Michelle Thomson MSP, convener of the Cross Party Group on St Andrew’s Day, said:

“I am grateful for the support provided by Salmon Scotland for the annual St Andrew’s Day celebration in the Scottish Parliament. The CPG exists to promote Scotland and her national day – and what better opportunity than also using it to showcase some of her food and drink products.”