Several education sessions stressed the importance of value-added products in growing seafood sales.
Commit to value
“Value added has been around a long time, there’s just never been a commitment to it,” said John Whitman, president of Whitman Management Group.
Ready to eat
Whitman suggested that retailers start changing their seafood cases by slowly working in ready-to-eat products like hot chowders, Caribbean peel-and eat shrimp, New Orleans style crawfish tail and garlic crab.
Prepare for the future
In the coming years, Pier Fish director of retail Chuck Anderson said that aquaculture will drive the whole seafood industry, “but for retail, because in the United States 70% of all seafood is sold in restaurants and only 30% is sold at retail, there’s a lot of growth potential by stealing business from foodservice.”
Medley of manufacturers
The trade show floor was packed with a variety of suppliers.
Seafood executives walked the trade show floor sampling cooked seafood and discussing products.
An exhibitor prepares seafood in her booth.
Flash frozen seafood is fresher than fresh fish, said Michael Dimin, founder of Sea to Table, at conference panel. He predicted this trend would be an important issue in the next couple of years.
Other booths opted to offer raw samples.
Best in show
Seafood from around the world was put on display.