Editor’s picks: Tuna on TV


Steven Hedlund

Published on
January 20, 2011

Here’s a recap of this week’s can’t-miss SeafoodSource news stories and commentaries:

• As seafood marketing campaigns go, this is a big one: The “Big Three” U.S. canned-tuna brands — StarKist, Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea — and the National Fisheries Institute’s Tuna Council on Monday launched a multi-million dollar marketing campaign aimed at growing the canned-tuna category. Featuring the tagline “Tuna The Wonderfish,” the campaign is aimed at reminding Americans that canned tuna is nutritious, versatile, convenient and affordable. TV commercials starring a bubbly homemaker named Joy are already airing in the mornings and evenings during nationally syndicated programs such as Oprah, Today and 60 Minutes.

• Can King Cod be dethroned? Good luck, wrote SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Mike Urch in his commentary this week. It isn’t for lack of effort. The White Fish Authority, now part of Seafish, has for years tried to popularize underutilized whitefish species such as grenadier, coley and whiting as an alternative to cod, but to no avail. Now celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is taking a stab at it. Will it work? The Guardian newspaper reported that supermarket sales of alternative species such as dab and sardines soared after Fearnley-Whittingstall promoted them on his new TV program last week.

• In the foodservice seafood world, Long John Silver’s is a significant player. In Yum! Brands’ world, not so much. The world’s largest restaurant company, in terms of units, on Tuesday put the 42-year-old quick-service seafood chain — which represents less than 1 percent of Yum!’s total operating profit — on the market along with its A&W hamburger chain. Long John Silver’s and A&W do not fit into Yum!’s long-term growth strategy, and the company is focusing on expanding its three core brands — Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC — internationally, said Yum! Chairman and CEO David Novak.

• The new catch certification scheme enacted a year ago to prevent illegally harvested seafood from reaching the marketplace is paying off, according to EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki. While addressing the Sixth International Forum on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing in London, Damanaki delivered figures on the number of seafood deliveries that have been halted due to the new law.

• Interested in learning more about the sustainable seafood movement? Check out the Gulf of Maine Research Institute-sponsored lecture by Brad Ack, the Marine Stewardship Council’s special projects director. The lecture is divided into three video clips — the first is available to all SeafoodSource members and the second and third are available only to SeafoodSource premium members.

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