Fish Radio

Sockeye pushed at Red Lobster, other sales strategies

July 23, 2015

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Alaska sockeyes get a big sales push in the US and abroad. More after this –


The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association offers free ergonomics training to seafood processing workers and fishermen to reduce injuries and increase productivity. Visit  to schedule a training at your plant or vessel.

 Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at


 Low prices this year make Alaska salmon more affordable for US buyers and the world’s largest seafood restaurant company has taken the bait.   This week Red Lobster began partnering Alaska sockeye salmon with its popular Crabfest promotion in more than 700 restaurants.  It’s US sales like this that will help relieve pressure on the sockeye pack that’s still backlogged from last year.

 But the hope and expectation is this will entice retailers because anytime you’re able to buy at lower wholesale prices typically you’re able to turn  better margins and hopefully that will get them to do more promotions and spur more sales.   Because building that consumption is going to build demand.

Andy Wink is a Seafood Industry Economist with the McDowell Group.  The lower wild salmon prices already have been embraced at retail.  Major chains reported increased sales this year from 69 to 243 percent over the same time period a year ago.

The US sales push stems from the strength of the dollar. Typically, exports account for 60-70 percent of Alaska’s wholesale seafood sales, but the strong dollar makes it far more expensive for overseas customers to buy.

Overall the dollar is up anywhere from 11 to 45 percent or more in some cases, versus the currencies of our buyers. And that makes it really difficult to maintain pricing because those buyers have to pay a higher price or it has to adjust and typically it adjusts somewhere in the middle.  

  To counter the slump, this year ASMI   dedicated $1 million to sockeye promotions worldwide.

Tyson Fick is Communications Director for the Alaska Seafood Marketing institute.

 We’re targeting in particular the UK as well as in Japan, Canada, particularly with canned sockeye there,and then domestically with retailers.

 ASMI also is advertising  in overseas media, Fick says, and working directly with retailers and distributors to move more salmon products as well as  the needle on awareness.

As we look to take advantage of some of these larger food trends – knowing where your food comes from, local seafood, things like that.

Find the latest sockeye salmon market report and more at our fish links–

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. ( In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.