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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 519 | AIRED 01/04/2021

Quality Seafood The Consumer Preference in 2021

January 4th, 2021 --- Welcome back to a brand new year of 3MMI. We hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday season and we would also like to wish everyone a healthy and prosperous new year. This week we provide some insight into why we believe quality seafood will lead the way in 2021.

--- As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put a strain on dine-in foodservice operations, seafood sales at the retail level in-turn saw tremendous growth throughout 2020 and industry experts are anticipating even more growth in 2021.

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Contrary to popular belief that seafood is mostly consumed in restaurants, a research paper (Love et al., 2020) released in June 2020 reported current, pre-pandemic, seafood consumption statistics in the U.S.

The revelation was that by weight, the majority of seafood is actually eaten in-home, while by dollars-spent, most money spent on seafood happens at restaurants.

Further to this point, the report found the majority of Salmon, canned Tuna and Tilapia are consumed at home whereas Crab, shrimp, Cod and Catfish are consumed in higher volumes at foodservice establishments.

--- As COVID-19 protocols became the new normal, eating patterns shifted from more conservative eating patterns to health and wellness with a particular interest in immunity (as reported by Seafood Source).

According to Robyn Carter founder and CEO of Jump Rope Innovation, the pandemic has fueled consumers’ desire to eat healthy, immune-boosting foods and, as lockdowns continue, they are buying and cooking more seafood at home.

Seafood's strong association to health benefits coined with the marketability of a Wild Caught protein make it poised for even greater growth in 2021.

Mid pandemic, Datassential produced a grocery shopping behavior & seafood report that revealed consumers would be more motivated to eat seafood at home if the store provided recipe ideas or more variety.

Datassential grocery shopping behavior & seafood report

As well, consumers stated that cooking technique, price, and safety are top of mind criteria.

The report also revealed that more fresh and frozen seafood options, easy and healthy recipe ideas, and 100 percent natural options would encourage consumers to choose seafood instead of other proteins such as beef, pork, and poultry.

As for seafood attitudes and perceptions, most consumers preferred wild-caught seafood over farm-raised and though consumers valued knowing that their fish is naturally caught, convenience and availability are vital to them as well.

Further to consumer perceptions, American-sourced seafood is overwhelmingly preferred over seafood from other countries and to that point, seafood from Alaska has very positive perceptions among consumers associating freshness, taste, and safety with Alaska.

Further to this, mentioning "Alaska seafood" increases consumers' willingness to purchase, and the Alaska Seafood logo is strongly associated with quality and sustainability - consumers are willing to pay a premium for seafood that includes the ASMI logo.

--- As COVID-19 protocols continue to be the new normal, Americans eating at home will be seeking foods that offer value, quality, and transparency where "value does not necessarily mean they are seeking the lowest-priced item"

Robyn Carter goes onto advise that "They are investing in quality over quantity", “It’s about perceived quality and reliability.", "In a growing recession, consumers can’t afford to make a mistake."

Seafood Consumer trends

--- As reported in our Salmon Market Predictions for 2021 episode, we are forecasting another year of strong demand and a market stretched on supply for Wild Caught Pacific Salmon where we anticipate another year of high demand for Sockeye and limited inventories of Chum and Coho.

This year, we recommend not hesitating to secure your Alaska Salmon requirements as inventories become available - especially if the pricing is at the level you have been purchasing at previously.

For any other North American harvested seafood products, please do not hesitate to contact us - not only are we Salmon experts but we are also Alaska seafood experts, and Quality seafood experts.

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