Halibut’s reputation built on versatility

Published on
September 14, 2010

Versatile, adaptable and available year-round thanks to its extended fishing season, halibut is a frequent choice among consumers and restaurateurs alike.

“The texture and flavor profile appeals to a lot of people,” explains Claudia Hogue, foodservice marketing director at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. Hogue, who is based in ASMI’s Seattle office, says halibut is a top choice among chefs because the fish “stands up well to different cooking options and adapts to different flavor profiles.”

As a result, she says, many restaurants and other foodservice operations are menuing halibut.

“Our goal at ASMI is to get the product called out as Alaskan,” she says.

The Pacific halibut season runs from February through November, and chefs often mark the season’s summer peak with in-store events. Market Broiler, a five-unit chain of casual-dining restaurants in California, promoted a combo special entrée of halibut and scallops for $23.95 in May and through mid-summer, says Lenore Vlasic, chief marketing officer for the Riverside, Calif.-based company.

“This was the first time in three years that we went after a gourmet-type item” rather than a value-oriented special, she explains. Pan-seared halibut appears on Market Broiler’s menu regularly, as do halibut brochette and halibut Oscar — a version with asparagus and a lobster cream sauce. But it was the combo special that was an exceptionally successful draw, with each location selling about 40 orders per day, she says. Market Broiler supported the event with advertising, including billboards, newspaper ads, parking-lot banners and e-mail, Facebook and ?Twitter messages.

To read the rest of the feature on halibut, click here. Written by SeaFood Business Contributing Editor Joanne Friedrick, the story ran in the September issue of SeaFood Business magazine.

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