Credit: brainlogic blog

Credit: brainlogic blog

Fish Radio
December 17, 2013                                       

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch…Seafood remains a tough sell at leading fast food restaurants. More after this –

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 More American consumers are saying they are dissatisfied with the menu offerings at popular restaurants and they want healthier choices. Those were the latest findings by a major Technomic study on nutrition trends at 37 leading chains. 

 The industry has been to my mind relatively slow to really embrace what we see is a truly growing demand for healthy, nutritious options.

  Bob Goldin is Vice President of Chicago-based Technomic,  Inc. which has worked with restaurants and food suppliers for 40 years. But while consumers call for healthier fare, Goldin says it often doesn’t transfer to their food orders –

 It’s almost the politically correct thing to say that you want them. The question is when they’re offered will they order them.  That’s been the rub – at least what the chains say – yea, consumers say they want them but when we do they don’t order them.

 Goldin says fears of contamination tend to be generalized over the entire seafood category. What about consumer awareness of wild or farmed fish?

  The population at large is not  aware. The nomenclature itself of wild tends to have a positive kind of connotation, farmed slightly negative, but seafood is very rarely labeled that way in food service

 Goldin says consumer awareness of sustainability issues is growing

 We do believe the demand for social responsibility and environmental protections are growing, especially among younger consumers. But we don’t think at this point it’s really very well defined but we do expect that to continue to grow as a demand among certain consumer groups.

 Goldin says by and large there is growing demand for seafood. But it is not likely to ever be a major menu item at fast food outlets –

No, I don’t foresee that in any major way. Chicken is more versatile and lower cost and more readily available and surer supply and has broader appeal. So I don’t think that’s too high on the radar screen. Fish and seafood is still pretty polarizing for many consumers.

 Goldin says inconsistencies of availability, costs and quality are the biggest challenges for seafood. He credits Alaska seafood as having a very powerful brand.

 Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, celebrating 103 years of partnership with Alaska’s coastal communities. www.oceanbeauty.com  In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.

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