Frozen: A category of growth, innovation
Seafood retailers are faced with one daunting challenge after another, but there is a bright spot. One of seafood’s positive growth areas is frozen seafood, a category that continues to spark product innovation and one that retailers continue to grow with additional space and merchandising techniques.
Consumer demand for frozen seafood products has risen because people are eating out less often and they are continuing to seek convenient and healthy foods, suppliers and retailers say.
“Before, people would indulge themselves with a seafood meal in a restaurant. Now, they are recognizing that seafood can be affordable when prepared at home,” says Mark Zieff, brand manager of U.S. retail for High Liner Foods USA. Shoppers are also understanding that frozen prepared seafood can taste just as good as seafood prepared in restaurants, adds Zieff.
For example, Fishery Products International, a division of High Liner, recently added a line of FireRoasters flame-seared frozen fish fillets.
“Fire roasting is a very popular preparation in restaurants and is very difficult to duplicate at home. It is a great-looking, great-tasting product that has a very simple glaze and is not prepared with heavy batters or breading,” says Zieff.
Grocery chains are expanding space allocated for frozen seafood to also cater to consumers’ growing preference for comfort foods. “Comfort foods such as breaded and battered items, casseroles and sauces have become as popular if not more popular than the healthy category since the downturn in the economy,” says Bob O’Bryant, marketing director for Pacific Seafood in Clackamas, Ore.