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The global tuna fish market size was USD 40.12 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 41.06 billion in 2022 to USD 49.70 billion in 2029 at a CAGR of 2.77% in the 2022-2029 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with tuna fish experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of -6.06% in 2020.
Tuna is considered as one of the most important and commercially valuable fish and is an important part of the marine ecosystem. The commercial tuna fishery is an important part of the blue economy, seven of which are considered important among others – skipjack, yellowfin, bigeye, Pacific, Atlantic, and Southern Bluefin. In recent years, the seafood industry observed new trends in terms of the consumption pattern of consumers. As people across the globe seek healthy and convenient food, it significantly aids in boosting the demand for protein-rich foods such as tuna.
Negative Growth due to Disruption in Supply Chain amid COVID-19
The tuna fishing industry is one of the sectors experiencing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic globally. As the governments imposed various safety measures and restrictions during the outbreak, it significantly impacted the commercial fish landing due to reduced labor mobility, restaurant closures, and social distancing protocols. According to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the pandemic affected the demand for large institutional canned tuna as the restaurant trade declined by 80-90%, according to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Fresh tuna imports in the U.S. halted in 2020, which was 15% lower than the previous year, particularly affecting the demand and supply in the country. Even though the general tuna catches in the Western and Central Pacific oceans remained stable as fishing facilities were allowed to operate with 65% crew capacity and maintain social distancing norms, a fall in tuna prices was observed in all parts of the globe. With the opening of the HORECA sector and ease in restrictions, the tuna fish manufacturers are working towards renewing their relationship with the consumers by new product launches, venturing into new market segments, and adopting marketing strategies.
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Proliferating Demand for Sustainably Sourced Tuna to Augment Market Growth
Customers these days seek products that can help them live a more responsible and sustainable lifestyle. The increasing concern over health and environmental sustainability has pushed the demand for value-added and sustainably sourced seafood. Organizations across the globe are helping to create a sustainable supply chain in the tuna fishing sector. In 2020, the International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF) and the Earthworm Foundation partnered to promote sustainable tuna fishing in France. In the new partnership, the two organizations will work together in the French market to create stronger and more responsible management of tuna stocks worldwide, promote sustainable fisheries and improve working conditions for workers both at sea and on land. In addition, increasing numbers of companies adopting vertical integration strategies to ensure sustainability at all stages of product development and distribution, from fishing to processing and logistics, are expected to positively impacting tuna fish market growth.
Increasing Demand for Canned Tuna Due to Higher Shelf-life and Affordability of the Product
Global consumption of canned tuna has increased exponentially in recent years. Canned tuna is a popular source of affordable protein that is convenient to store and does not require refrigeration. It is an easy-to-ship product as it has no to low refrigeration costs which is a beneficial property that drives demand for canned tuna products in various developed and developing countries. The significant increase in the working population positively impacted the demand for processed, ready-to-cook, ready-to-eat foods. With a hectic lifestyle, cooking time at home has decreased, contributing to fueling 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 significantly worldwide, the demand for canned tuna is also expected to increase as it is a rich source of protein.
Rising Consumption of Animal Protein to Favor Market Growth
Rapidly changing lifestyles and urbanization are reforming consumers' diets and food choices. Nowadays, the healthy and nutritious food choices of consumers are the main driver behind the growth of the market. Tuna consumption plays an important role in providing humans with animal proteins and micronutrients. The tuna market has shown promising growth in recent years as consumers have significantly reduced their red meat consumption because of the growing obesity problem. Consumers attempt to incorporate healthier and lighter protein alternatives into their diets, such as canned tuna and frozen tuna. Additionally, the demand for low-fat, low-calorie, high-quality protein foods is so high in western countries that tuna is a popular choice for customers. The increasing demand for animal proteins in emerging markets and the rapidly growing population is expected to escalate the demand for tuna fish in upcoming years.
Growing Consumers Inclination Towards Plant-based Protein to Restrict Market Growth
A significant proportion of the world's population has turned to vegetarianism due to reasons such as environmental concern and dairy allergy, which is negatively impacting the sales of meat and seafood in different regions. The accelerated popularity of plant-based food products among consumers has led to an increase in the number of plant-based meat producers. Although the demand for seafood continues to grow, sustainably produced plant-based seafood can protect biodiversity and reduce overfishing, which is why a leading company like Nestle S.A. is introducing plant-based tuna in the market. The market players such as Beyond Meat and MorningStar Farms are investing in vegetarian alternatives of traditional meat products and are also spending on creating a vibrant vegan meat product portfolio. Thus, consumers' shifting towards plant-based tuna is expected to hinder the market growth of tuna fish in upcoming years.
Skipjack Tuna to Hold the Major Share due to its Easy Availability and Rich Nutritional Profile
Skipjack tuna is the leading species and is expected to grow significantly, owing to its easy availability in the market and high nutritional value. As the main species of canned tuna, skipjack is commercially important. According to the Asia Pacific – Fish Watch, more than 70% of total tuna catches in the Western and Central Pacific and about half in the Indian Ocean are skipjack tuna. In addition, skipjack has a moderate level of cholesterol and a very good source of low-fat protein and sodium, which is further aiding the growth of the segment.
Yellowfin tuna is becoming more and more popular among consumers due to its rich taste and excellent texture. The species is marketed mainly canned and frozen and is sold as plate-sized small pelagic fish in the Philippines and Indonesia. Furthermore, yellowfin fishing provides tens of thousands of fishing and processing jobs, including women, making it popular in developing economies of Asia Pacific and Europe.
The sales of bluefin species are 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 Tuna to be Leading Type Owing to Surge in Convenience Food
Canned tuna is the leading product type and is predicted to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period, owing to rising awareness about its health benefits and convenience of use. The omega-3 fatty acids in canned tuna help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, dementia, and inflammatory disorders. According to National Fisheries Institute (NFI), canned tuna was the third most popular seafood product in the U.S, with a 2.2 pound per capital consumption in 2019, an increase of 10% from the previous year. In addition, the wide availability of product range in the market, from plain and unseasoned products to prepared, grilled and marinated products, further aiding the segment’s growth.
Fresh tuna is expected to witness substantial growth as the proliferation of Asian restaurants across the globe sparkled the interest in fresh tuna and its consumption in a number of ways. The dynamic growth of sushi bars and restaurants in European countries positively affects the demand for fresh tuna. Thus, the growing demand from foodservices and households is expected to boost the growth of this segment.
Europe Tuna Fish Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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Europe dominated the worldwide tuna fish market share with a USD 14.65 billion valuation in 2021. The significant growth in the region is primarily driven by the high per capita fish and seafood consumption and the presence of well-organized seafood industry. According to the European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture Products (EUMOFA), European consumers invested a total of USD 67.3 billion in seafood and fish consumption in 2017. The shoppers in the region are highly inclined towards healthy and functional foods since COVID-19, as it provides health benefits for consumers with a hectic and active lifestyle. Companies focus towards 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 nutrient-rich canned tuna range in the grocery outlets of the U.K. The three functional flavors of the product line include Energy, Heart, and Immunity, intended for young consumers looking for tasty and practical food choices.
Asia Pacific is likely to hold second-largest share in the market and has grown rapidly. The growing population in countries such as India and China, coupled with the rising per capita income of people living in Asian countries, has contributed to increasing the demand for protein-rich food such as tuna. Asian seafood and aquaculture production and processing are growing at a crucial pace due to increased demand for animal protein. According to FAO, global aquaculture production of aquatic animals is dominated by Asia, with an 89% share in the last 20 years. Also, with a large labor force in the aquaculture sector and fisheries, in 2018, Asia continued to have the largest fleet, with 3.1million vessels accounting for 68% of the world’s total fleet. Moreover, the aquaculture sector offers huge employment opportunities to the local people. Hence the development of this sector by the government will aid the market growth of aquaculture, which is predicted to have a positive impact on the tuna fish market.
North America is likely to exhibit significant growth during the forecast period due to the region's increasing per capita seafood consumption. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in 2017, the U.S. per capita seafood consumption reached 16 pounds in 2017, increasing 1.1 pounds in almost 10 years. The per capita consumption further increased to 16.1 pounds in 2018. The canned tuna is one of the top five aquaculture species (the only wild species) consumed in the region, as it is a budget-friendly protein-rich diet for U.S. consumers. According to National Fisheries Institute (NFI), canned tuna was the third most popular seafood product in U.S, with a 2.2 pound per capita consumption in 2019. Furthermore, the presence of -culture food consumption, which leads to wide intake of various Asian cuisine such as sushi, tekkadon, and curries are aiding the growth of the fresh tuna market in the region.
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Middle East and Africa are expected to be the fastest growing region due to the increasing popularity of premium products in developing markets of the region. The growing demand for canned tuna products is primarily attributed to its diverse flavor & taste notes and is gaining a mainstream position as premium products in the retail market. According to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in 2020, the Middle East major markets imported approximately 40,000 tonnes of canned tuna. Furthermore, the food supply chain advancements have contributed to the boom in the canned tuna market in the Middle East and North Africa.
New Product Launches by Market Players to Aid Market Growth
Some of the leading companies dominate the market due to their key strategic decisions, innovations and strong product portfolios. Key players of the market are focused on introducing innovative and exotic seafood variations to meet the growing demands of consumers. These players also respond to the increased consumer demand for products with functional benefits. For instance, in September 2021, John West, a brand of Thai Union Group, launched nutrient-rich canned tuna range in the grocery outlets of the U.K. The three functional flavors of the product line includes Energy, Heart, and Immunity, intended for young consumers looking for tasty and practical food choices.
An Infographic Representation of Tuna Fish Market
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The market research report provides qualitative and quantitative insights into the market. It also offers a detailed analysis of its types application,pplications, market size, and growth rate for all possible segments in the market.
Along with this, the report provides 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)
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 39.27 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 48.19 billion by 2028.
Registering a CAGR of 2.65%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).
Based on the species, skipjack is expected to lead during the forecast period.
The increasing demand for canned tuna fish and sushi is the key factor driving the market growth.
Thai Union Frozen Products, Plc., Mitsubishi Corporation, American Tuna Company, and Crown Prince Inc. are a few of the leading players in the market.
Europe dominated the market in terms of share in 2020.
Based on the type, canned tuna fish holds the major share in the global market.
The increasing expenditure on R&D is the key market trend.
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