Gorton’s, riding high on celebrity chef partnership, launches new products

Published on
November 14, 2019

After growing sales and awareness of its brand via a partnership with a celebrity chef and the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP), Gorton’s is unveiling new products that appeal to millennials and other key demographic groups.

Gloucester, Massachusetts, U.S.A.-based Gorton’s partnered with restauranteur Antoni Porowski, star of Netflix’s “Queer Eye,” earlier this year to create new recipes for Gorton’s and buzz for wild Alaska pollock. GAPP helped fund the partnership with a portion of USD 1 million (EUR 909,000) from its North American Partnership Program, which awarded 12 seafood suppliers in its second round of funding.

“Partnering with GAPP was a natural fit as the focus of our programming with Antoni has been to drive awareness of our best-selling breaded and battered offerings that were upgraded in quality last year to be made with only wild Alaska pollock,” Gorton’s Marketing Director Chris Hussey told SeafoodSource.

Gorton’s program with Porowski is “based on the understanding that weeknight ‘adulting’ can be stressful for parents and young working adults, and the last thing people want to be stressing about is what to put on the table,” Hussey said.

To that end, Porowski created four unique recipes that he is sharing broadly with his fans and followers, including: Fish Kebabs with Herbed Lemon Tahini Sauce, Buffalo Fish Sliders with Blue Cheese Celery Slaw, Brunchy Fish and Waffles with Jalapeño Maple Syrup, and Sunny Side Up Egg, and Thai Inspired Fish Cakes with Coconut Rice and Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce.

While it is difficult to attribute the exact impact of Porowski’s marketing efforts on Gorton’s bottom line, Hussey noted that “coming off our Lent campaign, our core breaded and battered line of business was up double digits in dollar sales, and we are very confident that our partnership with Antoni played an important role.”

“Raising awareness of Gorton’s wild Alaska product offerings with Antoni’s sizable audience, many of whom are millennials and Gen Z consumers who may be less familiar with our brand and the quality benefits of our Alaska pollock offerings is expected to have a growing impact over time,” Hussey added. “Antoni’s expertise and stature as an influencer generated quite a bit of interest in his Gorton’s featured recipes – including features in a multitude of highly visible publications, ranging from Health.com to ‘US Weekly.’”

Riding its wave of heightened awareness, Gorton’s is launching two new items in grocery stores nationwide in January 2020. Its new Parmesan Crusted Fillets will “introduce an exciting new variety into our Core line of resealable bags,” Hussey said. “Our Core business is growing behind newly renovated products that deliver the fresh taste consumers are looking for.”

To accomplish the “fresh taste” Hussey refers to, Gorton’s uses once-frozen Alaska pollock, and has “continued to simplify ingredient legends,” Hussey said. “To date, sales have responded to these improvements and we’re excited to carry this momentum into the new year with Parmesan Crusted.”

Other items in Gorton’s Core line include: Beer Battered Fillets, Crunchy Breaded Fillets, Crispy Battered Fillets, Crunchy Breaded Fish Sticks, and Fish Sandwich.

Gorton’s is also launching a new Garlic Butter Sauced Cod, part of its Simply Bake line in January.

“Simply Bake uses a proprietary oven-ready bag for perfectly cooked seafood with no prep and no mess. Many consumers are less comfortable preparing seafood relative to other proteins and Simply Bake’s Bake Perfect Oven Bag makes it easy to enjoy seafood at home,” Hussey said.

Other species featured in Gorton’s Simply Bake line include shrimp and salmon.

Photo courtesy of Gorton’s

Contributing Editor

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