Tendencies Regarding Fish Consumption – The Case of Portugal (Europe’s Leader & 3rd in the World)


  • Ana Oliveira Madsen Católica Porto Business School, Portugal
  • Valentina Chkoniya University of Aveiro, Portugal




Portugal is Europe’s leader in consumption of fish and ranks 3rd in the world (topped only by Iceland and Japan). Portuguese consumers eat 59 kg of fish per year, distantly followed by E.U. (28) numbers 2 and 3 - Spain and France - with 39 and 33.9 kilos per capita (2015). Culture theorists like Claude Fischler, Leon Rappoport, Mary Douglas, Poul Rozin, Massimo Montanari, Pierre Bourdieu and Cornelius Castoriadis, agree that the basic determinant of population’s diet is its culture and food has always been much more than a source of physical nourishment. To analyse the tendencies regarding fish consumption we used Docapesca Portos e Lotas S.A’s data (a government owned company, under the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Sea). A total of 1393 respondents participated in 2 surveys (one survey being for the general of the population and another one specifically for generations born after 1980s) which gave us a total of 221 variables to analyse. 7 segments were identified, depending on lifestyle, relationship with fish and how consumers buy fish. Results were abundant, remarkable and complete, including ex. factors influencing store choice store; the best source of information about food; what healthy eating means/ how it has changed over time; price; time; taste; availability; cooking skills; factors influencing the choice of a store; perceptions regarding fresh fish, its flavour, quality and freshness, smell, price and confection; personal preferences (salted dry fish, smoked fish, frozen fish, canned fish, fresh fish, whole fish, fish stalls, fish fillets).