Chicken of the Sea rebrand aimed at busy shelf-shoppers

Chicken of the Sea's new rebranded mascot.

Chicken of the Sea International has embarked on a rebranding project amid a resurgence in U.S. shelf-stable seafood sales.

The rebrand – Chicken of the Sea’s first in 20 years – includes a “Wild-Caught Happiness” marketing campaign and a logo redesign featuring a modern illustration of its mermaid mascot, Catalina, to “better embody the inspiring character she has always been,” the company said in a press release.

The Thai Union-owned company’s rebrand and new packaging graphics will further attract new and loyal shoppers to the brand “as the design is much easier to shop at shelf,” according to COSI Executive Vice President Commercial Andy Mecs. The aim of the revamp and marketing campaign is for consumers to experience Chicken of the Sea through its new brand lens: “Eat Healthy. Live Happy,” Mecs told SeafoodSource.

“With the new look and feel, Chicken of the Sea is working to bring little moments of wild-caught happiness to seafood fans everywhere, whether that’s through a mermaid-spotting contest, or new recipes on the revamped,” he said.

Communication on the brand’s packaging was pared down to include less information, focusing on seafood variety and key claims like “wild-caught," John Nunziato, chief creative officer for New York City, New York-based Little Big Brands, which spearheaded the rebranding and design process, told SeafoodSource.

While COSI has made small tweaks to its brand throughout its 109-year history, it was “time to relook at the brand as a whole and make sure it represents its delicious products, as well as how consumers eat and shop today,” Nunziato said.

“Chicken of the Sea is a legacy brand that appeals to a wide multigenerational demographic. It’s for anyone looking for a healthy and versatile meal and is often purchased by the head of the household for the whole family,” Nunziato said. "Evolving the brand was an important step as the brand works to continue connecting with both current and new consumers.”

To kick off the rebrand, COSI is running a contest through the end of February, asking fans to share their real-life mermaid spottings for the chance to win USD 1 million (EUR 920,000).

In June 2022, Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods launched its “Think Big” corporate campaign, highlighting the brand’s “unique strategic offerings around the evolving demands of the seafood industry,” the supplier said. Through a partnership with Wakefield Research, the campaign investigated how the U.S. seafood market had evolved through the Covid pandemic.

One finding from the study that has continued to hold true is strong demand for canned and pouched seafood products. Due to rising inflation affecting products across the grocery store, U.S. consumers are seeking out canned and pouched tuna and other seafood as an affordable alternative to fresh and frozen seafood. Even though shelf-stable seafood prices rose 10.1 percent to an average of USD 5.62 (EUR 5.16) per pound in December 2022, the segment's sales jumped 8.9 percent, according to IRI and 210 Analytics. Sales of shelf-stable seafood at retail rose 5.6 percent to USD 2.67 billion (EUR 2.5 billion) in 2022, while sales of fresh seafood dropped 8.2 percent to USD 6.5 billion (EUR 6 billion), and frozen seafood sales fell 2.9 percent to around USD 7.1 billion (EUR 6.6 billion).

While COSI’s sales continue to grow, it too has had to raise prices on its canned and pouched seafood products over the past year, Mecs said.

“Reports show that consumption in units is down from the peak of the pandemic. We have seen some pullback in units purchased across the category and the store, but shelf-stable seafood is poised to outpace other categories as one of the least-expensive proteins,” Mecs said. In the current inflationary environment, he said, COSI has “unfortunately had to pass through costs at varying degrees.”

Still, Mecs’ outlook for COSI in 2023 is positive, thanks to the rebrand, new products launched in the fourth quarter of 2022, and “innovative” product launches planned for later this year.

COSI’s new wild-caught Alaskan salmon single-serve, Low Sodium Salmon pouch “is convenient and so easy to take on the go,” Mecs said. It also rolled out a five-ounce can of salmon with 25 percent less sodium as well, Mecs said, which is “perfect for anyone who is watching their sodium intake.”

“Consumers are continuing to cook meals at home as they look for more affordable, better-for-you mealtime solutions. It’s a challenging inflationary environment for both consumers and manufacturers, but shelf-stable seafood remains a budget friendly protein that helps consumers make healthier meals in a short amount of time,” Mecs said.

Image courtesy of Chicken of the Sea


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