Fish from the northern waters suited the French taste buds

Hätälä Oy started operating in 1938 at the market square in maritime Oulu, where the grandfather of the current CEO was selling fish products. The modest market square stand has grown into a modern fish house that combines traditional fish processing skills with the latest technology – not forgetting quality and safety – with the goal of making the world’s most delicious fish products.

The fourth-generation family company processes approximately 18 million kilograms of fish and shellfish every year and delivers fish products to retailers, professional kitchens and wholesalers. The fish factory prepares fish delicacies for all of Finland and, in an increasing manner, for export which currently accounts for approximately 10% of the turnover.

The origin of the fish can be traced throughout their entire life cycle from a fish egg to a fillet. It’s even possible to trace how wild fish gets from the water to your plate in a rather comprehensive manner. In 2014, Hätälä was the first Finnish fish-industry company to receive the esteemed international BRC quality system certification, which indicates the safety of the fish products.

Hätälä wanted to examine what French consumers think of Hätälä’s selected fish products. Does the French market show sufficient interest towards Hätälä’s high-quality fish products – what did the results look like? Can Hätälä’s products swim to the French dinner tables? Hätälä decided to test an assortment of products with a local target group. The product testing was planned and results analysed by Innolink. Innolink cooperated with a local market research company for the practical implementation and data collection in the Paris and Lyon regions.

During the process, the French consumers’ special relationship with food became obvious – the French consumer wants to know the details of what is on their plates and where the food comes from, even how the fish was caught. During the product testing, the consumers were asked to evaluate, for example, the attractiveness of the products, the appearance of the packaging as well as taste and texture.

Read our infographics to see how the product testing went and which products the French were most attracted to.