Consumers have high standards for seafood. Perhaps more than in any other grocery category, consumers want to know the story behind their seafood purchases, especially where it came from. They also do not want to spend too much. This requires retailers to strike a careful balance, offering the high-quality seafood that consumers demand while continuing to provide convenience and keep costs low.
First, retailers should consider the origin and source. According to 2020 research from Datassential, for 70% of consumers, just seeing the word “Alaska” on seafood products increases their likelihood to purchase. Additionally, 53% of consumers prefer wild-caught seafood, many of them citing the taste, healthfulness and freshness of wild-caught varieties as primary reasons why. This comes as no surprise: Feeding only on what nature provides gives wild seafood a flavor, color and level of quality that consumers love.
Since fish caught in their natural habitats must be harvested on a seasonal basis, freezing wild-caught fish makes it possible for retailers to offer wild, sustainable seafood year-round. Flash freezing locks in freshness at its peak, guaranteeing each customer will receive maximum quality. And customers are already frequenting the frozen seafood aisle: In fact, 82% of consumers say they are likely to purchase frozen seafood, according to 2020 research from Datassential. Freezing makes it possible for retailers to offer a wide variety of seafood year-round at a competitive price—all with the wild-caught guarantee that many customers are looking for.
Plus, choosing a frozen seafood option doesn’t mean consumers have to compromise quality. For many, there is virtually no taste difference between fresh and frozen-fresh. A recent study conducted by the Food Innovation Center at Oregon State University supports this: When they measured the differences in quality between fresh and frozen-fresh Alaska scallops, statistics revealed there were no significant differences.
From Freezer to Plate
The technology used to freeze wild-caught seafood is better than ever. Harvesters of wild Alaska seafood, for example, use frozen-fresh practices to lock in freshness and maintain maximum quality, often freezing their wild catches directly on the boat. The seafood can then remain frozen right up until it is cooked.
With current events driving consumers to prepare more meals at home, foods that are easy to prepare yet provide a superior quality result are in high demand. Luckily, for the many consumers with a desire to learn how to cook seafood, preparing frozen seafood can be incredibly simple when cooked directly from frozen, no thawing necessary. Frozen Alaska salmon, for example, can be baked in the oven; steamed in a pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot; wrapped in foil and grilled; or pan-seared on the stove. Dinner is served in a matter of minutes.
With frozen-fresh, wild-caught seafood from Alaska, retailers and consumers can maintain their standards for quality without sacrificing convenience or affordability. To learn how the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute can help retailers leverage the benefits of frozen wild-caught seafood to increase sales and customer satisfaction, visit alaskaseafood.org/retail.
This post is sponsored by Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute