March 10, 2017



A three month project that promoted Bristol Bay sockeye salmon in Boulder, Colorado boosted sales and is already expanding. The $700,000 Wild Taste, Amazing Place campaign was spawned by  the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, and funded by 1,800 driftnet fishermen who pay a one percent tax on the value of their catches.

“So we developed a brand – a new look for Bristol Bay, we came up with a tag line of Bristol Bay Alaska sockeye salmon, we created a logo and a new consumer facing website, a bunch of high quality point of sale assets, and then we developed partnerships with retailers, processors, distributors to make sure everyone was onboard and aware with what we were doing.” 

Becky Martello is director of the Bristol Bay association. A big part of the program was to train people behind retail counters to be champions of the brand.

“And that went really well. We worked with retail staff help and educated them about Bristol Bay and the run, about the unique habitat and the sheer size and that each one of our fishermen is a small independent business. And by selecting Bristol Bay consumers are supporting small family business. And that message really resonates with our primary market of millennials and the secondary market of boomers, really having that connection to their food.”

In partnership with Rising Tide Communications of Anchorage, the group worked with food stylist and photographers to create snazzy point of sale items, signs, posters, recipe cards, even wrapping paper and stickers, all adorned with the Bristol Bay label.

“It was really about reinforcing that message and that brand and that look that Bristol Bay is unique and top quality and you should be buying it and be a part of this. “

They also hosted workshops, a dinner for 40 chefs, and17 restaurants featured the fish for a week. The results?

“What we did see was a lift in sales so that made us really happy. Sales increased 8 – 14 percent during the promotion period looking at year over year sales. So that was a big win for us. That 8-14 percent – we’re just taking that to the bank.”

One retailer will expand the sockeye promotion to 30 stores in several locations. Martello says the next phase – Bristol Bay 2.0 – will grow the program in Colorado and other regions.

“The feedback that we’ve been getting from processors as well has been really positive, which makes us really happy, the fleet seems really happy and ultimately that is who we are  working to help. So if they’re happy, I’m happy. “

The sockeye marketing materials are now available to fishermen, retailers and all others. You can order them at  Find links at our website – and listen to our podcast to hear much more about the Bristol Bay branding program. We’re also on Facebook and Twitter.