Millennial flexitarians and "fish-friendly parents" targeted in new Alaska pollock marketing campaign

Published on
March 11, 2022
Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) will spend nearly USD 800,000 (EUR 730,000) on a new marketing campaign.

Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP), a trade group that has made a concerted push to expand the market reach of Alaska pollock in the United States and globally, will spend nearly USD 800,000 (EUR 730,000) on a new marketing campaign.

At its early March meeting, the GAPP Board of Directors approved a nearly USD 4 million (EUR 3.6 million) budget that includes the organization’s first national sustained marketing campaign.

The new promotion comes at a time when the supply of Alaska pollock is shorter than in past years, and is fetching higher prices. The newly announced U.S. ban on Russian seafood in response to the Ukraine invasion is putting pressure on large retail and foodservice buyers.

The promotion will seek to communicate the wild-caught, sustainability, and nutritional attributes of Alaska pollock to U.S. consumers, according to GAPP. Going live this summer, the campaign will engage social media influencers, traditional media, and other methods to drive awareness and familiarity of Alaska pollock, according to GAPP.

“Three factors, wild-caught, sustainability, and nutrition – after taste and cost – have risen in GAPP’s annual nationwide consumer surveys as the three most-compelling attributes of wild Alaska pollock and the most likely to convert consumers into ‘evangelists’ of what GAPP believes to be the ‘perfect protein,’” GAPP said.

GAPP’s campaign will run through periods of peak consumption, like Lent, but will also aim to target times when seafood and pollock are not top-of-mind for consumers, GAPP CEO Craig Morris said.

“This GAPP campaign is meant to constantly reintroduce the consumer to the most-sustainable and nutritious wild-caught whitefish on the planet,” he said.

The campaign will also include market research to better understand opportunities and barriers to consumption, and a data-analytics effort to help GAPP understand the campaign’s reach and impact, Morris said.

“What will set this campaign apart from other seafood marketing programs out there is how we will measure the success of the campaign,” Morris told SeafoodSource. “[We want to] drive a meaningful connection between wild Alaska pollock and target audiences – Millennial flexitarians and fish-friendly parents.”

GAPP already conducted two tests using the measurement approach that will be used in its upcoming campaign. For its national “Sleigh the Holidays” surimi seafood campaign conducted over the holidays, GAPP was able to quantify the sales lift surimi received from the campaign – those who saw the content increased their surimi purchases 188 percent year-over-year, it found.

“The results were amazing. By using our consumer research relative to what the most-compelling spokespersons and narratives are for surimi seafood and the demographics most likely to have the message resonate with, we were able to lift the surimi seafood category at retail by 15 percent with those who saw the content versus those who had not,” Morris said. “It is these kinds of measurements that go beyond simple media impressions and social media iterations that has our GAPP board so excited about this sustained, national program we are embarking on now.”

GAPP will also devote more than USD 1.5 million (EUR 1.3 million) to its global partnership program. The program, initiated in 2018, funds the marketing of pollock products and the development of new products from Alaska pollock.

Separately, GAPP also added newly appointed American Seafoods CEO Inge Andreassen to its board, replacing American’s former CEO Mikel Durham, who announced her resignation in February 2022. Durham had served as GAPP’s board chair for the past three years.

Current GAPP Vice-Chair Doug Christensen will serve as acting chair of the board while the board forms a nominating committee to identify a new chair.

Photo courtesy of GAPP

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