Strategies for Selling Seafood Post-COVID

Frozen, Shelf-Stable and Plant-Based Innovation

Seafood suppliers have also been working to maintain seafood sales. For instance, Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon, the wild-caught brand of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, in Anchorage, Alaska, has come up with three inventive cooking-salmon-at-home campaigns, according to Marketing Director Lilani Dunn: Fast Wild Easy, which uses five or fewer ingredients that can be found in your kitchen already; HealthFULL recipes that pair already nutritionally rich salmon with accompanying sides; and our well-performing and popular Salmon Cooking Guide that speaks to the variety of ways to prep salmon and includes pro tips from various culinary experts from around the country.” Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon is available frozen and canned.

“The best way to retain these new home cooks is to inspire them with the variety of recipes that they can make with seafood,” advises Jeremy Zavoral, brand marketing director at San Diego-based Bumble Bee Seafoods, whose products encompass shelf-stable and frozen items. “Everyone knows that Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore tuna makes a great tuna sandwich, but have you tried using it as a flatbread topping, mixing it into a ceviche or including it in a Mediterranean hummus dip?”

As for non-cooks, “We know that 60% of tuna consumption occurs at lunch and that younger consumers are more likely to purchase ready-to-eat meals that are convenient and healthy,” he notes. “That’s why we are creating new product options designed for on-the-go meals like our Bumble Bee Protein on the Run kits, the first gourmet tuna snack experience on the market. Each convenient kit comes in one of three delicious flavors — Zesty Lemon, Black Pepper or Mild Jalapeno — and features buttery, savory artisanal crackers and a rich, smooth caramel treat to finish.”

Adds Zavoral: “Later this fall, we will also be launching a new line of Bumble Bee Quick Catch Tuna Bowls featuring wild-caught, dolphin-safe, high-quality tuna for a convenient mini-meal that can be eaten hot or cold. ”

Bumble Bee’s innovation also extends to its packaging. In keeping with the company’s commitment to sustainability, Zavoral notes that “earlier this year, we announced an industry-first shift from shrink wrap to paperboard cartons on our multipack can products. This is significant because it will eliminate an estimated 23 million pieces of plastic waste annually, and it also moves our company to 98% readily recyclable packaging within our total product line. The paperboard is made from 100% recycled material, with a minimum of 35% post-consumer content, and is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. That means that the multipack can product packaging is fully recyclable in home recycling systems, both the box exterior and the cans inside. Consumer testing also revealed appreciation for the modern and unique package design, easier-to-read label and option to easily stack the box on a home pantry shelf.”

Plant-based seafood is also an increasingly popular option, including the OmniSeafood Golden Fillet, OmniSeafood Classic Fillet and OmniSeafood Crab Cake from OmniFoods, which are due in US grocery stores nationwide through the second half of this year.

“For retailers, this is a whole new product range that offers diversity, variety and great quality,” says David Yeung, co-founder and CEO of Hong Kong-based Green Monday Holdings and OmniFoods. “It also means an added dimension of environmental consciousness. For consumers, this is a good chance to become much more aware of the mercury and micro-plastic pollution that have a clear negative effect on our health. It also is a chance to know about the crisis in ocean conservation and sustainability due to overfishing and unsustainable seafood consumption.”

Yeung also cites inflation as a factor in consumer adoption of such products: “Given the backdrop of seafood and meat prices skyrocketing, [plant-based seafood] is no doubt becoming an even more attractive option.”


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