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Outlook 2017: Great American Seafood President Sam Galletti

Exec says company had a big 2016 and expects even more growth in the new year.

IntraFish talks to Sam Galletti, president of Great American Seafood, about its new plant and its plans for 2017.

What were the three most significant developments for your business in the seafood industry in 2016?

1. Our move from an aging 60,000 square foot facility in Vernon, California, to a new 160,000 square foot state-of-the-art processing, distribution and storage facility.

2. The hire of three new strategic business individuals --  all three joined our executive management team -- our new CFO, our HR/risk management director, and a strategic business manager who has brought a slew of new strategic marketing and procurement ideas, which we have implemented quickly.

3. The purchase of new equipment for plant operations, making our production of fresh and frozen seafood more automated and more efficient.

Looking ahead, what will be the three most important developments in 2017?

1. We are looking to buy or lease additional space to handle the volume and storage of frozen seafood product. We're looking for or willing to build a storage facility to accommodate our growing frozen seafood inventory.

2. Develop and bring to market new items that are needed to meet the demand of the new generation of seafood eaters -- easy type of products such as kits, etc.

3. Move away from normal CO-treated products and move all tilapia and tuna product to Tasteless Smoke. We operate three independent Tasteless Smoke operations in China and hope to expand this to Central and South America. We are currently the only company producing and using Tasteless Smoke as an ingredient, as FDA has approved this term to use in place of CO due to the clean and filtered product that it becomes.

What changes and developments do you expect your business to undergo next year?​​​

A complete restructure of our sustainability and traceability program by engaging our suppliers to work with our newly formed alliance with a company that specializes in this field. My partner is in Asia now soliciting and signing up suppliers for the program that we will announce right after the new year.

We want to grow in private label business for customers who want product that is packed like our Great American Brand but in their own controlled label, and increase our fresh seafood sales.

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