The global seafood industry is on track to recover from the COVID-19-related downturn. New approaches and marketing campaigns aimed at making fish available to consumers at the right time and in the right place are more relevant than ever.
Storytelling is the same case. Here are some real-life success and promising stories of seafood marketing campaigns posted in international fishery publications.
US seafood marketing campaign sees benefits from focus on health
A US marketing campaign touting the healthy effect of seafood in a time where consumers have been roiled by COVID-19 has proven more successful than other seafood marketing initiatives, according to the international media holding IntraFish.
The Eat Seafood America! (ESA) pilot campaign was launched in the autumn of 2021 and has reached 4 million households and outperformed benchmark campaigns, said the Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP), organizers of the marketing effort.
The campaign focuses on messages that tout seafood’s ability to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep and support overall wellness.
It showed for every $1 spent on ads encouraging consumers to buy seafood at retail there was a measurable $9 increase in seafood purchases, archiving an overall 800 percent return on investment, SNP said.
“The Eat Seafood America! Consumer campaign is a fantastic example of how using a generic seafood campaign model focused on public health can produce tangible and traceable results,” said SNP President Linda Cornish.
Pandemic in focus
One reason the ESA campaign has been successful is due to SNP’s laser focus on the consumer and their changing needs throughout the pandemic.
For the campaign, the SNP surveyed more than 10,000 American consumers to understand their motivators and how COVID-19, the economy and other factors have impacted consumer food buying and eating decisions.
“By understanding where consumers are seeking out meal inspiration, how and where they are shopping, and what education is needed to empower them to eat more seafood, we can develop the right materials and target them on the right platforms,” said Andrea Albersheim, Director of Communications for SNP.
In the surveys, consumers who report seeing the ESA messaging are two to three times more likely to have increased their seafood consumption recently, SNP said.
Australia seafood industry launches national brand and consumption marketing campaign
Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national body representing the Australian seafood industry, has launched the first nationwide seafood marketing campaign aimed to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, the SIA website posted.
Earlier this year, the Australian Government allocated $4 million for the seafood marketing campaign through the $1 billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund.
The Australian Government-backed campaign promotes domestic seafood through the country's brand Great Australian Seafood.
The Great Australian Seafood brand intends to give Australians a fresh perspective on the industry, with the tagline "easy as" encouraging more to buy and cook seafood from local sources.
The 12-month campaign, which premiered on November 8, includes consumer-facing advertising across all regional and metro TV and streaming platforms, out of home including shopping centers, street furniture and roadside, digital activations and partnerships.
Printed material will also be displayed in shops reiterating how easy seafood is to cook.
"There's a perception that seafood is tricky to cook,” said the Fish Shoppe owner Josh Pearce. “I think that's because there's such a large variety of seafood; in reality, it's just as easy as cooking pork or lamb," he said.
The measures are expected to significantly increase domestic consumption of Australian seafood, which is essential to the industry's survival and recovery amid the COVID-19 crisis.
“We’re realistic about what we want to achieve and the timescales required,” SIA CEO Veronica Papacosta said.
“We know we won’t change national attitudes overnight, which is why the Great Australian Seafood brand is a long-term initiative designed to build a relationship with the nation. We want to inspire a generational shift in attitude towards seafood consumption.”
This campaign is designed to support all sectors of the Australian seafood industry, from fishers and processors, through to those in the foodservices sector, and to provide a much-needed boost to ensure a strong, sector-wide recovery.
Traceability can be profitable
Full-chain traceability isn’t just feasible, but that it’s also profitable by growing seafood’s value, and establishing trust with customers.
Here are a few stories on how it works, published on the usa.oceana website.
"We have learned that consumers care about where their fish comes from,” said Jared Auerbach, owner of Red’s Best in Boston, Massachusetts. “We built proprietary web-based software that starts at the point of unloading and makes it really easy for us to package the story of the catch so it stays with the fish throughout the supply chain."
“Seafood traceability allows the consumer to make factual decisions about their purchases,” said John Rorapaugh, director of sustainability at ProFish in Washington, D.C. “In turn, it allows our company to present the finest products, free of comparison to illegally harvested or inferior quality ones. Transparency is the key to a sustainable global food chain, and seafood traceability is a key component.”
“Traceability not only helps us to better track our inventories, it also ensures that we are sourcing our product responsibly,” said Steve Vilnit, director of fisheries marketing at J.J. McDonnell in Jessup, Maryland. “This storied fish is more than just a piece of protein with a price tag on it; it is a centerpiece on a plate that took the hard work of many to get there. Being able to trace a product, and therefore create a story about it, adds value along the entire supply chain.”
“Ariel Seafoods has observed a substantial increase in orders from restaurants that use Fish Trax to inform their guests about the fish they are eating,” said David Krebs, president of Ariel Seafoods in Destin, Florida. “Consumer confidence about their meal is proving invaluable to the seafood industry.”
“Trace Register’s traceability platform and analytical software really empowers the supply chain to make business improvements, reduce costs and manage risk,” said Alex Miller, vice president of business development at Trace Register in Seattle, Washington. “Without having the data and without analytical tools, your ability to document or observe variations or changes in the data and subsequently make improvements is very limited.”
There are many success stories of seafood marketing campaigns and new methods and approaches aimed at making global seafood industry more profitable and environmentally friendly in a rapidly changing world.
International seafood exhibitions are among those tools that provide a great opportunity for a company to showcase its products, share successful experiences and tell stories about how to tackle challenges facing the world's fisheries.
The SEAFOOD EXPO EURASIA will continue to tell the success stories of seafood marketing campaigns and practices on its website.