December 10, 2008


Promoting health benefits may boost US seafood industry


US seafood marketers and retailers can help revive the industry by emphasizing the healthy benefits of seafood.


Packaged Facts, a US publisher of market research in the food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry stated in its report that after several years of increases, seafood consumption in the US has come to a standstill.


Based on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Packaged Facts estimated that the annual per capita consumption of seafood will fall from 16.3 pounds in 2007 to 15.8 pounds in 2009, before rebounding in 2010.


The recession is hurting the fresh and frozen seafood market in both foodservice and retail venues.


However, marketers can help reverse this trend not only by emphasizing the benefits of seafood, but also through demonstrating their commitment to the environment by implementing sustainable practices in the raising, harvesting and selling of fish.


Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts says that fish is a high-protein food that provides a range of health benefits. White-fleshed fish is lower in fat than any other source of animal protein, and oily fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Since the human body can't make significant amounts of these essential nutrients, fish are an important part of the diet.


Another selling point for seafood, according to Meerman, is its sustainability, which refers to the practice of maintaining or increasing fish production in the future without jeopardizing the ecosystems from which it was acquired.


The sustainable seafood movement has gained momentum as more people become aware of over-fishing and environmentally harmful fishing methods, Meerman added.

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