Boston will be awash in the latest seafood merchandising trends, marketing ideas and new products at the 2017 Seafood Expo North America.
Seafood buyers across the nation—and the globe—are setting sail to Boston this month to attend the 37th annual Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America convention.
Taking place March 19-21 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, the show brings together thousands of seafood professionals from more than 100 countries. According to officials with Diversified Communications, the show’s organizers, the exposition presents a unique opportunity for key buyers and other industry decision makers to connect and network with suppliers of fresh, frozen, live, value-added, processed and packaged fish and seafood, as well as packaging and processing services.
In addition to the exhibit floor, the expo features a comprehensive conference program with more than 20 educational sessions presented by top seafood industry experts. Other show highlights include revelations for the Awards for Best New Retail Product and Best New Foodservice Product, on-floor master classes on the handling of certain species and the popular Oyster Shucking Competition.
Here is just a small nibble of what to expect at some of the show’s most popular booths:
Ocean Beauty Seafoods
Among the products being featured at the Ocean Beauty Seafoods booth are Wild Alaska Sockeye Salmon Candy, Smoked Scottish Salmon with smoke from retired whiskey casks from The Macallan and long-sliced smoked Atlantic salmon under the LASCO (3-ounce) and Echo Falls (7-ounce) brands.
“We make all forms and styles of smoked salmon, both under our labels and for private brands,” says Tom Sunderland, vice president of marketing and communications for the Seattle-based company. That includes cold-smoked salmon, including non-smoked cured forms like Gravlax, hot-smoked salmon and trout, caviar, pickled herring and salmon candy. When it comes to salmon, Ocean Beauty offers wild sockeye, wild keta, farmed Atlantic and farmed Coho. The company also delivers salmon, cod and other species directly from its facilities in Alaska to any market in the U.S.
“We are 50 percent owned by the non-profit Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation of Dillingham, Alaska, which represents 17 villages in remote Western Alaska,” Sunderland says. “As a result, 50 percent of our profits go directly to benefit the residents of these communities.”
Clear Springs Foods
Visitors to the Clear Springs Foods booth will be sure to catch the rainbow—as in rainbow trout. “Taste our newest crusted rainbow trout flavors that are prefect for the seafood case in on-trend profiles like super grains, mustard pretzel, harissa and our newest addition, spicy Thai,” says Jessica Henry, director of marketing for the Buhl, Idaho-based company. “These specially crusted rainbow trout and cod fillets feature a spicy and savory Thai coating for palates that love the perfect balance of sweet, hot and zesty flavors.”
Attendees will also learn what sets Clear Springs trout apart from the rest. “They will learn why the freshest spring water matters and how we set the standard for best-in-class rainbow trout,” Henry says. “We are a great choice because consumers enjoy the boneless, mild tasting fillets that carry the health benefits typically found in finfish, such as omega-3s. Rainbow trout remains one of the highest quality, lean proteins you can offer and is extremely versatile, sustainable and easy to prepare.”
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
When it comes to seafood, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) offers a boatload, most of which will be on display. Look for all five species of salmon, as well as cod, pollock, sole, rockfish and sablefish fillets, pollock roe, herring roe, salmon roe, weathervane scallops, surimi seafood and crab, Red King crab, Brown King crab, Bairdi/Tanner crab, Opilio crab and Dungeness crab to all be making an appearance.
“Because ASMI doesn’t sell product, the ASMI staff uses Seafood Expo North America to meet with our promotion partners—both retail and foodservice—and to explore new promotion activities,” says Linda Driscoll, retail marketing manager in the Seattle office of Juneau, Alaska-based ASMI. “Members of the Alaska seafood industry use the ASMI booth as a rendezvous point, and our new booth design includes several small tables for their use during the show.”
Retailers stopping by ASMI will learn that the association works with its partners to determine their goals and the tactics that work best for them, and will then work with them to develop custom promotions, Driscoll notes.
“Alaska supplies more than half of the wild-caught seafood in the U.S. and is home to the greatest salmon runs in the world, providing as much as 95 percent of North America’s wild salmon,” Driscoll says, adding that the state takes great care to manage its fisheries in sustainable and environmentally-friendly manners. “This means that every aspect of Alaska’s fisheries are strictly regulated, closely monitored and rigidly enforced—and this has been the case for over five decades.”
Beaver Street Fisheries
Look for a large display of Beaver Street Fisheries’ retail line, including products under the Sea Best brand name. Featured products will include the new Wild Caught American Shrimp line as well as a display of the Jacksonville, Fla.-based company’s Bahamian Spiny Lobsters.
“By stopping by our booth, retailers can get an overview of our portfolio of retail products, as well as a look at our new shrimp line,” says Bluzette Carline, marketing director.
Bumble Bee Seafoods
Bumble Bee Seafoods will be displaying its entire portfolio of canned and pouched tuna, salmon, sardines and specialty protein products under the Bumble Bee, Wild Selections and Clover Leaf brands. Several new products will be on display, including Bumble Bee Seasoned Tuna Pouches with Spoon, lightly marinated, premium seasoned tuna that can be used in recipes or eaten on-the-go with its built-in spoon; and Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Albacore Tuna Flavors in Ginger Soy & Olive Oil and Pesto & Olive Oil varieties.
“Bumble Bee continues to expand its business by also providing high-quality frozen seafood, so this year a greater emphasis will be placed on the frozen side of our business—Anova Food,” says Dave Melbourne, senior vice president, consumer marketing and corporate social responsibility at Bumble Bee Seafoods, based in San Diego. “Anova is a leader in the global sourcing of wild-caught and farm-raised fin fish. Anova/Bumble Bee is the No. 1 brand of sashimi grade Ahi tuna at retail as measured by IRI, including the Bumble Bee SuperFresh Seared Ahi with Garlic Peppercorn and the Anova brand bagged steaks sold out of retail seafood freezers, as well as bulk steaks sold at retail seafood counters,” Melbourne says.
Officials at Clearwater Seafoods will be featuring and sampling Arctic Surf Clams, Norway Lobster and Nova Scotia Prime Lobster.
“Clearwater is recognized globally for its superior quality, food safety and diversity of premium wild-caught seafood,” says Rob O’Sullivan, vice president of sales Americas at Clearwater Seafoods, based in Bedford, N.S., Canada. “Retailers visiting Clearwater’s Booth will have the opportunity to connect directly with members of our sales team to learn more about key product benefits and features, as well as product availability, formats, sizing and preparation instructions. A Clearwater chef will also be on hand throughout the duration of the show, preparing a variety of product samples for booth visitors.”
Since Clearwater is a vertically-integrated company it can provide its customers with ocean-to-plate traceability, O’Sullivan says. “With today’s consumers becoming increasingly interested in traceability and sustainability of the seafood they purchase, we’re proud to offer high-quality, wild and sustainably-sourced seafood to retailers around the globe,” he says.