The Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) announced Tuesday it will provide funding to key industry partners for four new projects designed to develop new market opportunities for wild Alaska pollock.

The group said it is awarding Trident Seafoods and Cooke-owned True North Seafood funding for projects that will expand consumer awareness of wild Alaska pollock in new market channels and support new product introductions.

“The GAPP North American Partnerships program was designed by our Board of Directors with the goal of further developing new products and market channels for Wild Alaska Pollock in our critically important North American market,” said Craig Morris, CEO of GAPP. “We are pleased to assist these innovative partners in furthering our mission to spread the Wild Alaska Pollock story far and wide and help consumers experience this great fish more often in new and exciting ways.”

GAPP provided matching funding for three new projects with Trident Seafoods, including a publicity campaign to introduce wild Alaska pollock to white tablecloth restaurants in seven major US markets, a foodservice sector where the species currently has little penetration.

Two other awards to Trident will fund projects introducing wild Alaska pollock portions and protein noodles made from wild Alaska pollock surimi in North American club stores.

“I am extremely grateful and excited to be partnering with GAPP,” said Joe Bundrant, Trident’s CEO. “The funding from this Program enables Trident to stretch its marketing dollars even further, to reach more people, in more places, more often and to help us introduce innovative new products like our all new Protein Noodles made with Wild Alaska Pollock to consumers.”

GAPP will also provide matching funds for a new project with True North Seafood to introduce IQF wild Alaska pollock fillets in grocery stores across North America.

“We look forward to partnering with GAPP and are excited about the opportunity to work together to drive consumer awareness and interest in Wild Alaska Pollock,” said Andrew Young, senior VP of global sales and marketing at True North. “We feel there is a lot of potential for this species to be more top-of-mind for chefs and consumers and we want to play a role in getting more North American consumers to try this sustainably sourced, delicious fish.”

These awards represent the first round of funding under GAPP’s North American Partnership Program, a new initiative funded by an increased investment in GAPP by the Alaska pollock industry.

GAAP said Tuesday the award amounts are confidential. Subsequent funding rounds and GAPP partnerships will be announced later this year, following two separate requests for proposals, it said.

“We look forward to partnering with even more companies within the Wild Alaska Pollock family to support ground-breaking product innovations and promotion efforts throughout 2019,” said Morris. “This Partnership Program is the first exciting step in realizing the GAPP Board’s dynamic vision for a more targeted, strategic and comprehensive marketing effort meant to drive consumer awareness about Wild Alaska Pollock and increase value in the category, both here and abroad.”