Aquaculture Stewardship Council launching its largest public marketing campaign ever

A worker at a salmon net pen at a salmon farm in Norway.

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council is launching its largest public-facing marketing campaign ever as the organization seeks to tell the story of sustainable aquaculture to consumers.

The new marketing campaign will have a heavy U.S. emphasis, with an emphasis on local-market promotions. The “New Way to Seafood” campaign will aim to dispel falsehoods and public misconceptions about seafood and showcase the work that the ASC has been performing since the program’s inception.

“We realize it’s time now to bring the story to the public, and explain to them that farmed seafood is not what you thought it was. It’s getting better," ASC U.S. Marketing Director Mark Lang told SeafoodSource during the 2022 Seafood Expo North America. "Not all certifications are equal, some are stronger, and those are leading to an even stronger future. And that’s the new way to seafood, and that’s our campaign. It’s a critical mass, it’s time to start telling that story.”

The organization plans to bring ASC-certified seafood to the dining halls of universities and colleges across the U.S. According to Lang, the ASC will visit 22 college campuses in March, nationwide, to demonstrate products raised via responsible aquaculture. The focus on college campuses is part of an effort to reach younger consumers, who often have more questions about the food they are eating, Lang said.

“They ask a lot of questions. They want to be sustainable, but they want proof,” Lang said. “That’s what we bring to the table, so it’s time to talk to them.”

The ASC is also planning to host events in Miami, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia to include in-store sampling, food shows, restaurant weeks, media events, and more. Lang said more cities will be added to the ASC's road show in the future.

“We’ve got high-level media happening. We’ve got social and digital stuff happening. But what we really think is interesting with our program now is we’re going on the ground,” Lang said. “We want to go from city to city, get face-to-face, boots on the ground, sleeves rolled up tasting product, telling our story with chefs and culinary directors and retail buyers.”

The campaign represents the biggest investment the ASC has ever made in marketing to the public, Lang said.

“The organization is making its largest communications investment in this campaign that they’ve made in their history,” Lang said. “It’s a breakthrough campaign for them internationally and historically, because the time is right in this market to be doing it.”  

Photo courtesy of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council


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