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The global tuna fish market size was worth USD 41.06 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 42.08 billion in 2023 to USD 51.25 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 2.86% during the forecast period.
Tuna is considered one of the most important and commercially valuable fish and is an essential part of the marine ecosystem. Commercial tuna fishery forms a key part of the blue economy; seven varieties of this fish are considered important among others – Southern Bluefin, Skipjack, Bigeye, Atlantic, Yellowfin, and Pacific. In recent years, the seafood industry has observed new trends in terms of the consumption pattern of consumers. People across the globe are opting for healthy and convenient foods, which has significantly boosted the demand for protein-rich foods such as tuna.
COVID-19-related Supply Chain Disruptions to Negatively Influence Market Growth
The COVID-19 pandemic had a major effect on the global tuna fish industry. The governments imposed various safety measures and restrictions during the outbreak, significantly impacting commercial fish landings due to reduced labor mobility, restaurant closures, and social distancing protocols. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the pandemic affected the demand for canned tuna as the restaurant trade declined by 80-90%. According to the European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture Products report, in 2020, the imports of tuna filets replaced whole tuna as the main product imported to Europe. Furthermore, the imports of whole tuna dropped by 21%, which was around 153.000 tonnes.
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Proliferating Demand for Sustainably Sourced Tuna Fish to Augment Market Growth
Customers these days seek products that can help them live a more sustainable lifestyle. The increasing concern over health and environmental sustainability has pushed the demand for value-added and sustainably sourced seafood. Several fisheries management organizations are helping create a sustainable supply chain in the tuna fishing sector. For instance, in November 2022, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) adopted a modernized fisheries management plan for Atlantic Bluefin tuna species.
The new plan was a result of extensive collaboration with scientists, stakeholders, and managers while ensuring long-term sustainability and profitability. In addition, an increasing number of companies adopting vertical integration strategies to ensure sustainability at all stages of product development and distribution, from fishing to processing and logistics, is expected to positively impact the market growth.
Increasing Demand for Canned Tuna Due to Product’s Longer Shelf-life and Affordability
Canned tuna consumption across the world has increased exponentially in recent years. It is a highly sought-after protein source that is not just convenient to store but also does not need refrigeration. Moreover, it is an easy-to-ship product as it has no-to-low refrigeration costs. Rise in the working population has augmented the demand for ready-to-eat, ready-to-cook, and processed foods. With a hectic lifestyle, cooking time at home has decreased, contributing to the demand for convenience foods such as canned tuna. The world's leading buyers of canned tuna are Europe and Asia Pacific, and their popularity is now widespread in many South American and Middle Eastern countries. As the consumption of healthy seafood, especially processed fish, is increasing every year, the sales of canned tuna is also expected to rise as it is a rich source of protein.
Rising Consumption of Animal Protein to Favor Market Growth
Rapidly changing lifestyles and urbanization are changing consumers' diets and food choices. The growing preference for healthy and nutritious foods is playing an important role in expanding the market size. Consuming tuna can provide humans with animal proteins and micronutrients. The market has shown promising growth in recent years as consumers have significantly reduced their red meat consumption due to the growing problem of obesity.
Consumers are attempting to incorporate healthier and lighter protein alternatives into their diets, such as canned and frozen tuna. Additionally, the demand for low-fat, low-calorie, and high-quality protein foods is so high in western countries that tuna fish is a popular choice for customers. The increasing need for animal proteins in emerging markets and the rapidly growing population are expected to escalate the demand for tuna fish in the coming years.
Growing Consumer Inclination Toward Plant-based Protein Might Restrict Market Growth
More individuals are adopting vegetarian and vegan eating trends due to environmental concerns and dairy allergies, which is negatively impacting the sales of seafood and meat in different regions. The rising popularity of plant-sourced food products among consumers has led to more artificial meat producers. Despite the rising seafood demand, plant-based alternatives are gaining traction as they minimize overfishing and help protect biodiversity. As a result, leading players such as Nestle S.A. are rolling out plant-based tuna products. Meanwhile, other players such as MorningStar Farms and Beyond Meat are experimenting with vegetarian substitutes of conventional meat-based products and spending on making novel vegan meat alternatives. These factors are expected to hinder the market growth in the coming years.
Skipjack Tuna to Hold Major Market Share due to its Easy Availability and Rich Nutritional Profile
Based on species, the market is segmented into Albacore, Skipjack, Bigeye, Yellowfin, Bluefin, and others.
The Skipjack segment is expected to account for the largest market share owing to its easy availability in the market and high nutritional value. The main fish used in canned tuna is Skipjack, which is commercially important. Notably, the majority of overall tuna catches (more than 70%) in the Indian Ocean and the Western and Central Pacific regions, are Skipjack tuna, as per Asia Pacific – Fish Watch. This species of tuna has a moderate level of cholesterol and is an excellent source of low-fat protein and sodium, which is further aiding the growth of the segment.
Yellowfin tuna is gaining popularity among consumers owing to its excellent texture and rich taste. The species is commercially sold in frozen and canned forms and as a small, plate-sized pelagic fish in the Indonesia and Philippines. Furthermore, Yellowfin fishing provides a wide range of fishing and processing jobs, making it popular in the developing economies of Asia Pacific and Europe.
The sale of Bluefin tuna is expected to grow considerably in the forthcoming years. The increasing utilization of this species in several restaurants for preparing exotic dishes is anticipated to support the steady growth of the segment.
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Canned Segment to Gain Traction among Consumers Due to Surge in Convenience Food Consumption
Based on type, the market is segmented into canned, fresh, and frozen.
Canned segment is the leading product type and is predicted to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period, owing to rising awareness towards its health benefits and convenience of use. Canned tuna is rich in omega-3 fatty acids what help reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammatory disorders, and dementia. Prominent players in the market focus on mergers & acquisitions and partnership strategies to increase the product offering capacity and consumer base owing to the rising demand. For instance, in February 2021, Thai Union Group Inc. partnered with After Yum, a famous restaurant with spicy salad menus, to launch DIY spicy tuna salad in a can. The new product SEALECT could be customized by adding lime juice, chili, and other salad ingredients. In addition, the wide availability of different types of canned tuna in the market, from basic, unseasoned forms to marinated, grilled, and prepared products, is further aiding the segment’s growth.
The fresh segment is expected to witness substantial growth with rising consumer interest in Asian cuisines, including fresh tuna. The dynamic growth of sushi bars and restaurants in European countries also positively affected the demand for fresh tuna.
Europe Tuna Fish Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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Europe dominated the global tuna fish market share with a USD 14.95 billion valuation in 2022. The robust growth in product demand in the region is primarily driven by the high per capita fish and seafood consumption and an established seafood industry. According to the European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture Products (EUMOFA), the household expenditure on fishery and aquaculture products in Europe grew to 7% in 2021 compared to 2020. Shoppers in the region are highly inclined toward healthy and functional foods as they provide several health benefits. Market players are focusing on responding to the increased consumer demand for products with functional benefits. For instance, in September 2021, John West introduced a nutrient-rich canned tuna range across the U.K.’s grocery outlets. The product comes in three functional flavors – Energy, Heart, and Immunity and is aimed at younger consumers seeking delicious and practical food options.
Asia Pacific is likely to hold the second-largest share in the market. The growing population in countries, such as India and China, coupled with their rising per capita income, has increased the demand for protein-rich foods, such as tuna. Asian seafood & aquaculture production and processing are growing at a crucial pace due to increased adoption of animal protein. According to the European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture Products report 2022, Asia is known to be home to the world’s top four producing countries in aquaculture, in which China accounts for more than 80% share, Indonesia close to 70%, and India and Vietnam close to 60% collectively. Moreover, the region’s aquaculture sector offers lucrative employment opportunities to the locals. These developments will accelerate the growth of the aquaculture market, which consequently enhance the market progress.
North America is likely to exhibit significant growth during the forecast period due to the region's increasing per capita seafood consumption. Canned tuna is one of the most consumed products in the region, as it is a budget-friendly, protein-rich diet for U.S. consumers. The demand for fresh seafood products is also rising in the region. According to the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) report 2022, Yellowfin tuna dominated the import market for fresh products in the U.S. market in both volume and value terms. In 2021, the total import volume of Yellowfin was close to 12,000mt. Furthermore, the growing consumption of culture foods, which leads to the wide intake of various Asian cuisines, such as sushi, tekkadon, and curries, further improved the fresh tuna fish market growth in the region.
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The Middle East & Africa is expected to be the fastest growing region due to the growing popularity of premium products in the developing markets of the region. The rising demand for canned tuna products is primarily attributed to their diverse flavor & taste notes and is gaining a mainstream position as a premium product in the retail market. Advancements in the region’s food supply chain network have also contributed to the boom in its canned tuna market.
New Product Launches by Key Players to Aid Market Growth
The key players are focused on introducing innovative and exotic seafood variations to meet the growing demands of consumers. These companies are also responding to the increased consumer demand for products with functional benefits. For instance, in September 2021, John West, a brand of Thai Union Group, launched a nutrient-rich canned tuna range across the U.K.’s grocery outlets. The three functional flavors of the product line include Energy, Heart, and Immunity, intended for young consumers seeking tasty and practical food choices.
An Infographic Representation of Tuna Fish Market
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The research report provides qualitative and quantitative insights into the market. It also offers a detailed analysis of its types, applications, market size, and growth rate for all segments in the market.
Along with this, the report offers an elaborative analysis of the market dynamics and competitive landscape. Various key insights presented in the report are an overview of related markets, research methodology, recent industry developments, such as mergers & acquisitions, the regulatory scenario in critical countries, and key industry trends.
Value (USD Billion)
CAGR of 2.86% from 2023 to 2030
Fortune Business Insights says that the market value was at USD 41.06 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 51.25 billion by 2030.
Growing at a CAGR of 2.86%, the market will exhibit significant growth during the forecast period of 2023-2030.
The Skipjack segment is expected to be the leading segment among species in the global market during the forecast period.
The rising consumption of animal protein is driving the markets growth.
Bolton Group, Century Pacific Foods Inc., Thai Union Group Inc., and FCF Co. Ltd. are a few of the key players in the market.
Europe is expected to hold the largest market share.
The canned segment is expected to grow the fastest during the forecast period.
Proliferating demand for clean-label and eco-friendly tuna fish products is one of the leading market trends.
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