The U.S. seafood industry is getting behind promotions surrounding October’s designation as National Pescatarian Month and National Seafood Month. The designations, along with September’s status as Family Meals Month, are expected to boost sales and recognition of seafood at retail and foodservice.
The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) is celebrating its second annual National Pescatarian Month this October, sponsored by its blog, Dish on Fish. National Pescatarian Month is designed to help keep seafood top-of-mind with consumers, encouraging them to enjoy fish-centric meals at least two or three times a week, either at home or when dining out as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, NFI said in a news release. The initiative’s goal is to bolster the existing efforts of many retailers, foodservice operators, and brands that market under the National Seafood Month umbrella.
With National Pescatarian Month, NFI celebrates those who have adopted a pescatarian diet, but also encourages everyone to make room in their diet for more seafood, according to NFI Senior Vice President Judy Dashiell.
“Pescatarians really didn’t have a public platform prior to NFI launching National Pescatarian Month,” Dashiell said. “National Pescatarian Month provides consumers with one more reason to seek out seafood at retail and in food service outlets all month long."
One of NFI’s key messages during National Pescatarian Month will be how easy it is to “swap with seafood” – encouraging consumers to swap another protein for seafood for every meal part.
“We take ‘give it a try this month’ approach with pescatarianisn. We’ll show how easy – and tasty – it is to swap out things like traditional burgers or tacos for a seafood version,” Dashiell said.
NFI has developed a National Pescatarian Month Toolkit with logos, social media posts, and more for NFI members and partners to use throughout October. Plus, Dish on Fish will showcase nutritious, pescatarian-focused meal plans, along with tips for simple seafood prep and cooking on their blog throughout the month. Following last year’s successful e-cookbook, “Everyday Seafood Recipes: 53 Quick & Easy Dishes,” featuring primarily pescatarian, original recipes for the home cook, Dish on Fish will be releasing new and engaging recipes around seafood preparation.
“Once again, the 2021 edition of ‘Everyday Seafood Recipes’ is a free resource for consumers to download directly from the Dish on Fish,” Dashiell said. “NFI members and partners are encouraged to include a link as part of their online resources.”
Seafood Nutrition Partnership is also providing a toolkit for retailers during Family Meals Month in September. SNP partnered with FMI – The Food Industry Association, which is leading the marketing event, to create a toolkit for retailers “that provides messaging for seafood departments to use to market the importance of seafood nutrition as part of healthy family meals,” SNP Director of Communications Andrea Albersheim told SeafoodSource.
Throughout September and the rest of the year for the Family Meals Movement, SNP will be sharing blog posts, recipes, videos, and other resources focused on the “health benefits of eating seafood for your family, as well as cooking tips to make it easier for weeknight meals,” Albersheim said.
SNP’s “Eat Seafood America!” marketing program, which encourages Americans to eat a broad range of seafood at least twice a week, has generated more than two billion impressions since its inception last April. In addition, consumers who have seen the messaging said they are three times more likely to have increased their seafood consumption, according to SNP.
“Encouraging Americans to eat more seafood is backed by rigorous science. As we’ve been able to galvanize the industry around a consistent public health education effort, we’ve seen that message really pay off,” said Jim Motos, senior vice president of Rich Product Corporations’ Consumer Brands division and SNP’s board chairman.