Scottish seafood suppliers looking to North American markets for expansion at SENA19
Five Scottish seafood companies have arrived in Boston, Massachusetts this week with industry body Seafood Scotland to take part in Seafood Expo North America from 17 to 19 March.
The delegation of companies exhibiting under the blue Seafood Scotland banner at SENA19 this week include Loch Fyne Oysters, the Scottish Salmon Company, Dawnfresh, Wester Ross, and Scottish Seas. Renowned Scottish chef Mark Greenaway has also been in attendance on behalf of Seafood Scotland, hosting a cooking demo on Sunday, 17 March (“Great Scottish Seafood Cook Off”) where he challenged Legal Sea Food Culinary Director Patrick Keefe to a cooking duel before a sizeable crowd at SENA19’s Demonstration Theater. The two chefs featured Native Hebridean salmon and steelhead trout during the cook-off.
The North American market provides ample opportunity for expansion for Scottish seafood companies, especially as Brexit looms, noted Seafood Scotland. While at the expo this week, the collective of companies and the industry body will be conducting meetings with buyers, retailers, hoteliers, and chefs from North America and around the world to tap into potential new business channels.
“We are always working with the industry to build on existing trade as well as attracting new business from emerging markets. SENA is a huge opportunity for companies to talk directly with those responsible for making purchasing and buying decisions about our world-class seafood,” said Clare MacDougall, Seafood Scotland’s trade marketing manager and the organizer for the Scottish delegation and representation at the expo.
Planned activity around the expo – which will see local restaurants feature Scottish seafood on their menus and local retailers promoting the provenance and quality of going Scottish – has also been arranged by Seafood Scotland.
“This is our fifth year at SENA, and we like to do things a bit differently ensuring we engage with the market in new and exciting ways,” MacDougall said. “For the past few months we have been working with influencers, retailers and restaurants in Boston, asking them to try out some of the wonderful Scottish seafood available in North America. Our aim is to increase the opportunities available to the industry and create further demand for our incredible variety of species.”
“Chefs and restaurants across the U.S. have been particularly excited about our coordinated efforts to provide them with top quality catch from the North Sea under the Scottish Seas moniker,” added Scottish Seas Director Bill McKenzie. “We have now established successful routes to market to import whitefish, such as cod and interest in ‘star’ species, such as langoustines, is also growing due to the uniqueness and high quality of the product. With this being our third time exhibiting at SENA, we’re looking to extend this interest further, reaching out to buyers and representatives at the show.”
Simon Briggs, sales director at Loch Fyne, agreed with the sentiment that North American and U.S. markets were high-potential targets for growth and success for Scottish seafood.
“The U.S. market offers huge potential for Scottish smoked salmon and SENA provides the opportunity for us to showcase the new Loch Fyne smoked salmon packaging and the exclusive Mey Selections smoked salmon range,” Briggs said. “At Loch Fyne our guiding principle is to present the best in authentic Scottish seafood with genuine provenance, single source Scottish salmon always smoked in the Highlands, whilst minimizing our environmental impact. These factors are of significant importance in the North American market. As we return to SENA, we aim to further establish both brands and to continue to expand our distribution network in the U.S.”
Canadian chef John Higgins will be joining Seafood Scotland in Boston during the expo as well. Originally from Scotland, Higgins is an advocate for Scottish seafood and its success in the North American market. The former Buckingham Palace chef believes seafood from Scotland is some of the best produce available to chefs across the globe, Seafood Scotland said. He will join Mark Greenaway at a Scottish networking reception at The Kitchen at The Boston Public Market, where a Scottish/U.S.-styled seafood “cook-off” will entertain the guests.
The Seafood Scotland delegation can be found at Booth #2253 at SENA19 this week.