Chilean salmon firms launch domestic brands to tap into promising consumption trend

Published on
November 8, 2021
There is a growing trend of Chilean seafood companies looking to better cater to the domestic market in Chile.

Camanchaca’s recent launch of the “Único” brand is the latest move in a growing trend of Chilean seafood companies looking to better cater to the domestic market in Chile.

Santiago, Chile-based seafood firm Camanchaca’s first offering through the Único brand – already available to local wholesalers, distributors, and supermarkets – is canned horse mackerel, and the company said it is looking to expand its Único offerings to include frozen salmon and mussels by December 2021.

“We have noticed an increase in the sales of salmon and horse mackerel in the national market, which historically consumed very little. This led us to take a harder look at the market and give it more priority,” Camanchaca General Manager Ricardo García said.

Chile's seafood consumption has been rising and that trend is expected to continue, according to a study commissioned by the Undersecretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Subpesca) from the Fisheries Development Institute (IFOP). The study found annual per-capita consumption of seafood in Chile reached 15.8 kilograms in 2020, a 6 percent increase from the 14.9 kilograms registered in the previous year and from 13.2 kilograms per capita in 2013.

Fish is Chile's preferred seafood selection - the average Chilean ate 11.7 kilos of it in 2020, of which salmon comprised 3.5 kilos, up from 3.4 kilos in 2019. The per capita consumption of mollusks was 2.8 kilos in Chile in 2020, and crustaceans and algae accounted for the remaining 1.3 kilos.

However, Chile's seafood consumption still remains below the global per capita consumption of 20 kilograms per year, and Chilean Undersecretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture Alicia Gallardo - appointed in January 2021 - said it is her belief Chile has potential for much greater uptake of seafood. Gallardo said the Chilean government will undertake new annual studies to study seafood consumption patterns and guide government policy.

“A country with an extensive coastline such as ours should consume more seafood. We have to be able to continue promoting its preparations, nutritional benefits and, furthermore, educating Chileans on this matter,” Gallardo said.

Other seafood companies with operations in Chile are also pursuing more robust domestic sales strategies, including Mowi, Blumar, Multi X, and Australis.

In March 2021, Mowi Chile launched Cocina Salmon, an online retail effort geared at the Chilean hotel, retail, and catering (HORECA) market. To date, Mowi has expanded its offer of free delivery within 24 hours to 12 Chilean cities. The company said it had already sold to 600 new HORECA customers and individuals, and has plans to increase its range of Marine Harvest and Mowi product offerings to even more locations in Chile soon.

Blumar, which markets its products via the St. Andrews and Pacific Blue brands, has also announced plans to start selling in Chile under its new premium brand Laguna Blanca – an antibiotics-free salmon raised in the Magallanes region under high sustainability standards. The brand is already present in the U.S. market, and was created as part of the BluGlacier joint venture between Blumar and Ventisqueros. Based on Blumar's latest presentation to investors, its salmon sales in Chile have increased to 14 percent in 2021 of total sales, up from 12 percent in 2020.

Chilean salmon farmer Multi X, which recently rebranded from the Multiexport Foods label, said during its rebrand launch that part of its strategy would be to increase its focus on the national market.

“In our push to bring our salmon to the world’s consumers, showing the versatility of the product and drive its frequent consumption, we present a strong product brand architecture, looking to address the needs in each market, not just abroad but also in Chile, with different products for the different needs,” Multi X Executive President José Ramón Gutiérrez said.

Since that time, the company has debuted the Arka brand, a new ultra-premium, antibiotic-free certified line of fresh, frozen, and smoked salmon products for the U.S, Canadian, and European markets.

At the end of 2020, Australis Seafoods launched “La Cosecha del Mar” (“The Sea Harvest”) a brand geared toward the domestic market, with a focus on added-value salmon products. The brand is being positioned for the retail market in Chile and the rest of Latin America.  

Photo courtesy of Pakawat Thongcharoen/Shutterstock

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