Fish Radio
Sockeye promotions get $1 million boost
January 16, 2015

World's biggest sockeye salmon run Credit:

World’s biggest sockeye salmon run

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Alaska sockeye salmon gets a million dollar marketing boost. I’ll tell you more after this —

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Global market forces are causing a downward press on Alaska sockeye sales. That has marketers ramping up promotions and putting down the money – as they did with the plug of pinks.

We’re patterning it after the additional canned pink salmon campaign after the record catch in 2013. Dedicated another million dollars to sockeye promotions worldwide.10

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

Last summer’s surge of sockeye salmon at Bristol Bay saw processors put up more than 20,000 tons of frozen reds. The 10 million sockeye catch at the Fraser River took the wind out of the fresh sales.  Plus, record numbers of farmed salmon are coming into the US from Norway and Chile.  With the prospect of another huge run at Bristol Bay this summer, reports  say 5- 8,000 tons of  unsold sockeye has piled up in freezers.

We’re targeting in particular the UK as well as in Japan, Canada, particularly with canned sockeye there, and domestically with retailers to the tune of 6,000-7,000 individual stores running sockeye promotions through the spring as well as a joint promotion with Chateau St. Michele that will reach another 10,000 or so stores. And then in food service working through Cisco with a Lenten promotion that will run February through April, specific to frozen sockeyes. 3

ASMI also will advertise in overseas media, and as with the pink salmon campaign Fick says, work directly with retailers and distributors to move product and move 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. 6

It’s a good strategy, but Fick admits there are so many factors we don’t have control over –

Currency exchanges, international global politics and what not. But the whole idea of this marketing operation is to buffer those and to at all times have a preference for Alaska out there. All of the data coming back indicates it’s working pretty well.

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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.