Bensenville, Illinois-based Fortune Fish & Gourmet defines value-added seafood as raw product that has been enhanced with a seasoning, breading, marinade or stuffing to help make consumer meal preparation easier, says Stacy Schultz, the company’s director of marketing and sustainability coordinator.
“We carry a wide variety of products including but not limited to seafood burgers, crab cakes, seasoned, breaded and marinated portions, kabobs and seafood wellington,” Schultz says. “This category continues to expand due to consumer demand — people having less time for meal preparation or looking for convenience.”
Fortune Imports, a Fortune Fish sister company, recently launched a line of restaurant quality seafood entrees that are ready-to-bake and come in a convenient oven safe tray. Merchandised in deli cases and now available nationwide, the products are made from premium ingredients, Schultz says.
When it comes to merchandising value-added seafood in the supermarket perimeter, there are many ways retailers can “create a presence,” as Schultz puts it. Buy one, get one free offers, for instance, encourage customers to try multiple product varieties.
Or try offering products at a valued price point, e.g. “All items in the case $9.99.”
September is National Family Meals Month, a perfect opportunity for shippers and retailers to promote value-added seafood, Schultz says.
“Value-added makes family meals easier, convenient and more accessible for the home cook,” she says.
Just a month later, in October, is National Seafood Month, another great chance to promote family meals and value-added’s role in them, Schultz says.
The Seafood Nutrition Partnership has numerous resources on its website for promoting consumption of seafood, including an October campaign aimed at family meals.
“Taking the guesswork out of preparation”
Seattle-based Trident Seafoods Corp. defines value-added seafood as “seafood that has been processed in a form or fashion that makes it easier for the retailer and/or consumer to prepare,” says John Salle, the company’s senior vice president of marketing and innovation.
It could be as simple as cutting a fillet vs. having to fillet the whole fish. Or cutting a portion from a fillet, or seasoning or crusting that cut. Taking it one step further, the portion could also be sold fully cooked.
“Making seafood that takes the guesswork out of preparation, is convenient and ensures consistency of cooking and flavor are paramount to category success and growth,” Salle says.
Trident offers a wide variety of wild Alaska value-added products that can be sold frozen of refreshed. The company’s lineup includes fillets of cod, sockeye, halibut, Alaska pollock and king and snow crab.
Trident also has a line of crusted portions designed for sale in the refrigerated section with repack labels or in the service case. “Our latest introduction includes all new Protein Noodles made with wild Alaska Pollock,” Salle says. “They’re being embraced my many retailers as a true seafood innovation which is catching attention as consumers look for convenient ways to experience all-natural protein alternatives.”
Additionally, Trident’s line of Louis Kemp-branded surimi seafood is sold in the refrigerated section.
Trident’s mix of value-added products hasn’t changed much in recent years, but the company has seen all-natural, gluten-free and non-GMO enter the arena, Salle says.
What’s changed most, he adds, is that consumers are looking for seafood in other areas of the store — the perimeter (deli, prepared foods), in particular.
“Supermarket foodservice is a growing segment as consumers look to retailers to help them solve meal solutions. Whether they’re dining in or taking out, consumers are looking for retailers to provide innovative seafood solutions in this area of the store as well.”
Trident’s Redi-Grilled line of fully cooked Alaska salmon and pollock is a perfect example of a value-added product that provides a solution to this area of the store. Additionally, creative menu applications such as the company’s California Roll Bowl application is a new use for a traditional product such as surimi seafood.
Premium single frozen Alaska Sockeye fillets, grillable wild Alaska pollock fillets and crusted fillets are a few of Trident’s top value-added sellers, Salle says.
When it comes to merchandising, Trident has a built-in advantage as a supplier of Alaska-grown.
“We are seeing real success by featuring Product of USA/Alaska-themed promotions incorporating all species and forms from Alaska,” Salle says. “Alaska resonates extremely well with consumers and stands for wild, sustainable and natural — all key attributes that strike a chord with consumers.”
Martha Stewart adds name to value-added line
New this for year for Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada-based True North Seafood is a partnership with Martha Stewart on a new line of value-added seafood products.
True North is working with New York-based Sequential Brands Group Inc. on the deal.
“Knowing where my seafood comes from is very important to me, and I’ve enjoyed and served True North Seafood to family and friends for years,” Stewart says. “After visiting True North’s salmon farms near my Skylands home in Maine, I saw first-hand their innovative and industry leading methods of sustainable farming and fishing. Their passion for the environment and community is why they are one of North America’s largest and most trusted producers of fresh farmed and wild caught seafood from the Gulf of Alaska to the Atlantic.”
The product line offers an array of True North Seafood product that are each accompanied by a Martha Stewart signature butter flavor or spice blend. Packaging includes an easy to follow recipe created by Martha’s Test Kitchen.
“We are thrilled to be launching this new product line in partnership with the Martha Stewart team,” says Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke Inc., True North’s parent company. “It is great for us to be able to work with Martha’s team to bring delicious, well thought-out meals to all tables, even those who have busy schedules and minimal prep time.”
The full product line includes: Atlantic Salmon with Lemon Herb Butter, Sockeye Salmon with Miso Butter, Wild Alaska Pollock with Southwest Spice Blend, and a Seafood Medley (Wild Alaska Pollock, Atlantic Salmon, and Bay Scallops) with Herb Spice Blend.
“This line is all about convenience and quality product,” says Andrew Young, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, True North Seafood. “It is a perfect option for existing seafood customers while encouraging new customers who may not be as comfortable buying or preparing seafood to shop the category.”