Millennials target of new Bristol Bay campaign

Alaska’s Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA) recently launched a pilot project designed to boost sockeye salmon sales among millennial consumers.

The campaign, which started 1 September, will run through the end of 2016 and in theo Boulder, Colorado media market, where BBRSDA hopes to take advantage of a concentration of younger, food conscious consumers. The results of the pilot will inform a national rollout of a similar marketing push in 2017.

Becky Martello, the executive director of BBRSDA, said her association chose to target millennials not only because of their numbers, but because their spending habits and values predispose them to become bigger consumers of wild-caught salmon.

“Millennials are more apt to use a greater percentage of their discretionary income on things like organic, wild, sustainable foods, so a high-quality, sustainable food source like Bristol Bay sockeye fits this group because their purchases reflect their values more than any other demographic,” Martello said.

Under the theme “Wild Taste, Amazing Place”, the campaign is promoting frozen sockeye fillets as a year-round dinner option. Retailers have point of sale materials like recipe cards, branded mugs, printed fish wrap and stickers.

Another major goal of the campaign is to give retailers an education in what fishing in Bristol Bay – home to Alaska’s largest sockeye run – is all about.

The bay’s hands-on harvest and strong fishing culture should appeal to a group that likes to know where their food comes from, and the story behind the people who work to get it to them.

“The demographic also values knowing where their food comes from, so connecting them to the amazing place of Bristol Bay – the story of the area and the fishermen who are hand harvesting these beautiful fish – really appeals to and resonates with them,” Martello said.

And because millennials traffic heavily in social media, the campaign has a strong online component. The new website, is full of pictures highlighting the vermillion hue of freshly-caught sockeye and the rugged beauty of Bristol Bay. According to Martello, the “vivid, bold” photography is an important element of the campaign, which also has a new logo. The new site features recipes and short interviews with local fisherman as well.

All this, Martello hopes, will be the foundation for a strong new Bristol Bay brand that will make wild-caught sockeye a staple for millennial consumers.


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