Monday, October 12, 13:01 am PT

Affordability drive Alaska pollock in French market

Awareness levels of Alaska pollock are relatively high in France, said Bonamy Finch Founder and Strategy Director Leigh Morris.

But Alaska pollock falls into a second-tier category when compared with sole, haddock and seabass in a market with high fish consumption.

While availability and affordability play drive French consumers' purchasing decisions for Alaska pollock, the fish falls behind in perceptions of taste, versatility and the ease of which to prepare the fish.


Monday, October 12, 12:52 am PT

Alaska pollock has work to do in the UK

Alaska pollock familiarity is low in the UK compared with cod and haddock, although four out of five who know the fish offer a positive opinion.

In a market known for its fish and chips culture, perceptions of taste are well below those of cod, although Alaska pollock is considered affordable and sustainable.


Monday, October 12, 12:41 am PT

Alaska pollock has strong image in Germany

Alaska pollock is a front-of-mind whitefish among German consumers, although it faces competition from salmon, herring and trout, said Bonamy Finch Founder and Strategy Director Leigh Morris.

Strong familiarity and positive opinions of Alaska pollock ranks higher than cod in the German market. The fish also performs strongly in terms of taste, versatility and affordability in the market.

"In Germany Alaska pollock is in a league of its own," Morris said.


Monday, October 12, 12:33 am PT

Grocery stores drive European name recognition

The most likely place to learn about Alaska pollock in Europe is in grocery stores, Bonamy Finch Founder and Strategy Director Leigh Morris said.

Restaurants and friends also play a role. In France family and friends are nearly as important as grocery stores.


Monday, October 12, 12:25 am PT

Versatility drives growth

Some 66 percent of US diners have a positive perception of eating white fish, cod, tilapia and haddock come ahead in people's recall of species, Ketchum Analytics Managing Director Mary Elizabeth Germaine said.

Taste, cost, health need to be driven home to consumers by those marketing Alaska pollock, while versality is key in attracting consumers to buy one fish type over another, she added.

Monday, October 12, 12:15 am PT

Alaska pollock name recognition increasing

Unfamiliarity and cost remain the biggest barriers to buying fish, although there has been a significant increase in familiarity in name recognition since last year, Ketchum Analytics Managing Director Mary Elizabeth Germaine said.

Taste, health and affordability continue to be key aspects for consumers who associate wild Alaska pollock with sustainability


Monday, October 12, 12:10 am PT

Front of pack information drives sustainability awareness

US consumers are most reliant of front of package information to tell them about certifications and sustainability, Ketchum Senior Consultant Kristina Amaral said.

Words such as certified and responsible are more likely to catch consumers attention.

Education is the biggest hurdle followed by cost and access, she added. Easy to understand messaging is key, Caryn Leahy, vice president of Ketchum added.


Monday, October 12, 11:47 am PT

Fish eaters value sustainability

Sustainability is particularly important among fish eaters with more than half of consumers are looking at sustainability aspects, Ketchum Senior Consultant Kristina Amaral said.

Greater health, taste and protection of the planet including the understanding of carbon footprints are important for consumers.


Monday, October 12, 11:28 am PT

Consumers will expect sustainability

Some 81 percent of companies are more focused on sustainability than three years ago, meaning consumers are increasingly going to expect this, Caryn Leahy, vice president of Ketchum said. "We need to be prepared for that outcome."


Monday, October 12, 10:58 am PT

Consumers making fewer shopping trips

During the pandemic consumers still want to go the grocery store but are making fewer trips to limit their exposure to the virus.

It's important to narrow down the path to purchase by offering recipe ideas and by providing as much information as possible by working with retailers, Gorton’s Seafoods' Director of Brand Development Gavin Kennedy said.


Monday, October 12, 10:53 am PT

COVID-19 cements existing trends

COVID-19 has accelerated existing trends such as traceability and sustainability, said Nomad Foods European Director Carly Arnold.

The company plans to increase its focus on millennials. “Younger consumers are leaning in and wanting to know that,” she said.


Monday, October 12, 10:39 am PT

A great opportunity to build demand

The industry has done a really great job of creating great products, said High Liner Seafoods Vice President of Marketing and Innovation Craig Murray.

Getting products on the shelf is one part of the mix but creating consumer demand is essential, he said. “There is a great opportunity to build consumer demand (through innovation)."


Monday, October 12, 10:31 am PT

Consumers are coming back amid pandemic

Nomad Foods European Director Carly Arnold said the company is seeing new consumers, including millennials amid the pandemic.

As lockdowns have eased consumers have returned to buying amid strong sales for freezer appliances, she said.

At the beginning of the pandemic sales were from pantry loading but work to help consumers prepare the fish including recipe ideas, Gorton’s Seafoods' Director of Brand Development Gavin Kennedy said.

“We are seeing a really high repeat rate.”


Monday, October 12, 10:16 am PT

Consumers nervous amid pandemic

Consumers are nervous and are using restaurants but in some cases less because of uncertain job prospects, Jeff Fromm, a marketing expert from Barkley subsidiary The FutureCast said.


Monday, October 12, 9:40 am PT

Marketing efforts boost wild Alaska pollock's return on investment

GAPP marketing efforts achieved a high rate of return compared to other food marketing checkoff programs, said Harry Kaiser, Cornell University professor of applied economics and management.

For each dollar invested during the past two years in GAPP marketing, there was a return of $28.40 (€24.00) in wild Alaska pollock fillet and surimi revenue back to the industry.

“This study found a very significant effect from the recent record purchases of Wild Alaska Pollock by the US federal government that equated to a lift of 4.8 percent in the value of wholesale frozen fillet block price,” said Kaiser.

Kaiser also compared the ROI for GAPP with the ROI of other commodity organizations he performs similar research for.

“When you look at the data, the investment in GAPP has yielded an ROI almost double the median and greater than well-recognized commodity marketing organizations like pork, soybeans and beef,” said Kaiser.


Monday, October 12, 9:30 am (PT)

Alaska pollock price measured on volume, exchange rate and marketing

Increasing volumes of pollock fillets marketed in the United States would decrease the species’ price by 0.77 percent, said Harry Kaiser, Cornell University professor of applied economics and management.

The US-Euro exchange rate also has a similar negative pattern. However, increasing GAPP marketing by 10 percent would actually increase the species’ price by 0.24 percent.


Monday, October 12, 9:15 am PT

Eastern European market tackling misperceptions

The older generation still holds on to misperceptions of pollock, said Ksenia Gorovaya, overseas marketing representative at Eastern Europe for ASMI.

However, research shows that labeling the product as Alaska pollock is shifting the perception, especially since there is no Russian pollock in the market.

ASMI is also encouraging importers to diversify their range of Alaska pollock products.


Monday, October 12, 9:10 am PT

UK surveys consumer perception of pollock

Alaska pollock is trusted in the United Kingdom market, according to a recent Kantar survey.

However, Alaska market representatives are working on spreading awareness of the species over products labeled simply as whitefish.

ASMI is creating infographics for trade partners on labeling products beyond calling them just whitefish, and the group is encouraging new product development at retail chains, ASMI’s Sarah Johnson said.


Monday, October 12, 9:05 am PT

Brazil exploring frozen ready-meal gap

With an increase in frozen, ready-meal firms, Brazil and other Latin American countries are working to introduce wild Alaska pollock as a product for convenience meals, said Carolina Nascimento, South America overseas marketing representative for ASMI.

The country is also bringing a lot of learning from other markets to the region and exploring the gaps with cod, which can pose as an opportunity for the pollock.


Monday, October 12, 8:50 am PT

UK adds surimi in retail sushi counters

Many UK retailers including Waitrose and Morrison's have added Alaska pollock surimi products in popular sushi counters in stores.


Monday, October 12, 8:47 am PT

Viciunai promotes Alaska surimi “health image”

Alaska pollock processors in eastern Europe are stepping away from the traditional image of surimi and promoting the product as healthy to tap into the Instagram health-conscious community, said Ksenia Gorovaya, overseas marketing representative at Eastern Europe for ASMI.

Traditionally, the product was popular in mayonnaise-based salads, however, Viciunai is positioning the product as a healthy ingredient for tacos and other types of healthy bowls.


Monday, October 12, 8:35 am PT

Japan markets Alaska pollock-based surimi to fitness enthusiasts

Two years ago, Japan introduced crab leg surimi as a source of protein to the fitness industry, said Akiko Yakata, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute's (ASMI) marketing representative in Japan.

Imports of Alaska pollock have decreased 23 percent year-on-year, however production has been stable.

The surimi industry is now launching an Instagram campaign to reach fitness enthusiasts and compete with other muscle-enhancing protein products available in the market.


Monday, October 12, 8:28 am PT

Sustainability in action

The Alaska pollock industry went through a metamorphosis in the past 12 years, said Hannah Lindoff, senior director of global marketing and strategy at Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI).

The 2008 challenges seem pretty easy now, given the challenges of COVID. In 12 years from today what will the industry be able to look back and be proud of," Lindoff said.

"This industry has worked so hard to bring the protein to the world in a very difficult time."


Monday, October 12, 8:18 am PT

New GAPP partners critical for Alaska pollock mission

GAPP announced it had awarded Nippon Suisan Kaisha-owned Gorton’s Seafood, High Liner Foods, Trident Seafoods-owned Louis Kemp, Pescanova USA, Restaurant Depot and 7-Eleven with funding for new products and proposals.

"Our distinct partners are critical to GAPP’s mission because if they have more chances to try our fish, they will fall in love with Alaska pollock," said Craig Morris, GAPP CEO.

"Despite the challenges, wild Alaska pollock has highpoints and we will discuss how we stay in the spotlight."


Monday, October 12, 8:12 am PT

'We can't lose another year of data to COVID-19'

Senator Lisa Murkowski recognizes that the seafood sector is still handling headwinds, however, is disappointed NOAA has canceled surveys this year.

"We can't lose another year of data to this pandemic," Murkowski said.

However, her efforts to support the Alaska pollock sector hasn't stopped. She hinted at the progress USDA have taken after years of pressure in recognizing the importance of seafood.

"It is not perfect," She said. "However, it can be used as a foundation to build a strong seafood policy at the USDA."


Monday, October 12, 8:00 am PT

The Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) kicks off its second annual meeting Oct. 12.

The virtual meeting brings together GAPP’s members, associate members and the broader wild Alaska pollock industry to receive updates about GAPP’s progress against its strategic plan, hear speakers discuss the state of the industry, and network with colleagues and peers.


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