Scotish mackerel

Scottish mackerel is being promoted in store through one of Japan’s largest supermarket chains.

Two products have been developed for the Japanese market by the retailer Aeon Group - mackerel in butter oil and mirin boshi (mackerel stepped in sake). Their roll out this week was marked by a bagpipe-accompanied launch and sampling events in 80 stores.

The promotion was brokered by trade body Scottish Development International (SDI) as part of the Scottish Seafood Group (SSG). It is designed to support global sales of the produce, which have been hit by the Russian ban on EU fish imports.

“We are continuing to work alongside our industry partners to support Scottish companies as they break into markets such as Japan,” said SDI food and drink head Susan Beattie. “As part of this effort we are helping these companies to build relationships with key retailers, which will open new doors for Scottish companies.”

Graham Young, head of Seafood Scotland, which is part of  SSG, said the industry was “in the midst of an intensive period of activity” in Japan, which began with a presence for Scottish producers at the Japanese Seafood Expo in August.

“It’s crucially important for our domestic industry that we raise awareness of Scottish product to key markets, and Japan, being one of the world’s main consumers of seafood and most importantly, mackerel, is top of our list,” he added.