Editor’s picks: Smoked salmon on the cheap
Here’s a look at this week’s can’t-miss SeafoodSource news stories and commentaries:
• The UK’s Daily Telegraph recently conducted a smoked salmon taste-test, and the results weren’t so flattering. In Monday’s commentary “Cheap smoked salmon does industry no favors,” SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Mike Urch called the future of the smoked salmon industry “bleak” after the taste-test showed that consumers are getting what they pay for when it comes to mass-produced smoked salmon. Consumers reactions to the smoked salmon sold at the UK’s three biggest retailers were so bad that Urch concluded that they’ll probably tell their friends and families not to buy them or smoked salmon in general.
• Legal Sea Foods is hosting a dinner showcasing so-called blacklisted species, including black tiger shrimp and cod, to educate consumers about sustainable fisheries and to dispel misinformation about species commonly pegged as unsustainable. The announcement stirred talk of whether the event is truthful or just a publicity stunt, including from SeafoodSource Editor Steven Hedlund. In Tuesday’s commentary “Tongue in cod cheek,” Hedlund said that while it may indeed be a publicity stunt, it’s not a misguided one and that Legal Sea Foods should be commended for trying to do something about consumers’ woeful lack of seafood knowledge.
• How does a restaurant known mainly for its made-in-house meats and sausages keep customers coming back for its seafood? By staying loyal to Gulf seafood after the devastating oil spill, according to Stephen Stryjewski. Stryjewski’s New Orleans restaurant, Cochon, features crawfish pies and roasted oysters, despite price hikes following the oil spill. “I don’t stray from Gulf seafood,” Stryjewski told SeafoodSource. “It is easy for me to maintain a market for it. I have to believe the Gulf seafood is safe. I put my faith in the government.”
• New nutrition labels requiring meat products to include calories, grams of total fat and saturated fat may benefit retailers’ fresh seafood sales. The labels will also include a lean percentage statement, which should increase sales of leaner meats, such as seafood. “There will be shock from consumers when they start looking at some meat labels,” Tom DeMott of Encore Associates, told SeafoodSource. “Those higher fat and cholesterol readings on packages will scare some consumers away from buying meat. I suspect it will scare away more than 1 out of every 100 consumers.”
• On Tuesday, Canada’s High Liner Foods made an unsolicited offer to acquire the Icelandic Group for EUR 340 million, causing quite a stir in Iceland, with one publication likening the potential takeover to “a foreign company telling Iceland’s politicians to smarten up and open up the sales process to more bidders.” High Liner said Icelandic’s owners have refused to engage in talks with other parties until 8 January.