In a time of unprecedented uncertainty surrounding the global seafood industry, brought together some of the sector's top executives in its first-ever live digital event, co-organized with DNB.
Pacific Seafood CEO Frank Dulcich, Grieg Seafood CEO Andreas Kvame, Biomar CEO Carlos Diaz, Bumble Bee CEO Jan Tharp, NPD Group Supply Track President Tim Fires, DNB Senior Vice President - Seafood Freyr Thordarson and others participated in a live video panel discussion on the outlook, opportunities and potential solutions in our the business reality.
Tuesday, April 14, 16:27 GMT
Making seafood more 'deliverable'
Moves to bring chef-inspired meals into retail have been a strong positive from the crisis, said Tim Fires, president of the NPD Group Supply Track.
Fires said he hopes this will lead to much higher levels of engagement between retailers and local chefs for meal kits or other option types.
While the crisis should help to scale up restaurants' delivery capacity, the industry needs to find a way to make seafood options more “deliverable” to consumers so that they can appear more frequently on menus.
Tuesday, April 14, 16:19 GMT
Winners and losers
There are going to be winners and losers resulting from the coronavirus health crisis, as there always are in this type of situation, Frank Dulcich, CEO of Pacific Seafood Group, said.
The executive said he believes there will many opportunities to shift practices and outside working practices.
“The good news is we are all in the same boat, let’s find that silver lining and go for it,” he said.
Tuesday, April 14, 16:15 GMT
M&A will pick up again
In the short-term, many seafood companies are prioritizing liquidity and conserving cash, DNB Bank Senior Vice President of Seafood Freyr Thordarson said.
However, mergers and acquisitions will pick up again as things normalize because the industry is headed towards more consolidation.
Tuesday, April 14, 16:13 GMT
No big disruption for feed
Feed price outlook will depend on how markets for fish and vegetables ingredients react, Carlos Diaz, CEO of Biomar Group said.
“Hopefully I would expect the price trend will return to normal in the coming months.”
While there have been some delays in supply, overall the company has not seen a big disruption in the feed market.
The company has not suspended plant openings or R&D investments so far.
Tuesday, April 14, 16:05 GMT
Foodservice was already declining
"It's going to be a slow recovery," said Pacific CEO Frank Dulcich of the coronavirus pandemic. "When we went into this, at least 20 percent of our foodservice customers told us we're going to be down 3-4 weeks," he said, but some also simply said they were not going to be coming back online at all.
"Forty percent of our customers won't be returning in business, not only because of COVID-19," he said.
Tuesday, April 14, 15:55 GMT
Canned tuna is for life, not just for coronavirus
While the coronavirus outbreak and the ensuing panic-buying has been a boon for shelf-stable seafood, for US canned tuna giant Bumble Bee and others, the challenge now is how to hang on to those new consumers, to show them canned tuna is not just a pantry filler, but a versatile product for everyday use, said CEO Jan Tharp.
Tuesday, April 14, 15:47 GMT
Reduced panic for fresh salmon
For Grieg Seafood and its fresh salmon supply chain, the coronavirus has presented big logistics challenges. But as time has gone on, while challenges are still there and costs have gone up, the panic is less, said CEO Andreas Kvame.
Tuesday, April 14, 15:45 GMT
A time to clean up
Frank Dulcich, President and CEO of Pacific Seafood Group, said the coronavirus has provided the company with an opportunity to clean up, in many respects.
"We've seen a 200 percent increase in retail, about a 45 percent drop in foodservice," he said.
"What I believed was true a week ago is not true today. You have to take a negative and turn it into a positive."
The company has reorganized over the past few weeks, highlighting the importance of pivoting both of its B2B and B2C services to being more technology-oriented.
Dulcich noted "a lot of positions" will be permanently removed from the seafood giant.
"We can shed multiple millions of dollars in our distribution channel by connecting customers directly to our inventories and our orders," he said. "Amazon has been helpful in leading that charge."
Tuesday, April 14, 15:35 GMT
Consumers return to foodservice, albeit from home
After a month of March that appeared to last a year “the new reality” is that consumers are bringing foodservice back into their lives, Tim Fires, president of the NPD Group Supply Track said.
Outlets having the most success are focusing on family meals with younger people at home.
While check (bill) sizes are smaller than in normal times, there has been growth for independents and micro-chains, he said.
Tuesday, April 14, 15:25 GMT
DNB encourages investors to buy shares in salmon companies
The seafood's largest lender DNB is encouraging investors to buy shares in the publicly listed salmon companies for a good return when the situation normalizes.
"The underlying demand for salmon will not change in six months nor a year," DNB Seafood Equity Analyst Alexander Aukner said.
However, at the moment, companies are more concerned on how they can switch their products from foodservice to retail and at what price.
Tuesday, April 14, 14:49 GMT
Welcome to IntraFish's first webinar
IntraFish's first-ever live digital event, co-organized with DNB, brings together Pacific Seafood CEO Frank Dulcich, Grieg Seafood CEO Andreas Kvame, Biomar CEO Carlos Diaz, Bumble Bee CEO Jan Tharp, Nomad Purchasing Director Stuart Caborn and others for a live panel discussion on the outlook, opportunities and potential solutions in our new business reality.
We have a full house today, so anyone unable to join in the webinar can watch the full video afterward here.