SENA Panel: Retail Seafood – Where is the Tide Going?

LEK Consulting Claire Murray

The 2023 Seafood Expo North America, which took place from 12 to 14 March 2023, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., and the 2023 Seafood Expo Global, which took place from 25 to 27 April 2023, in Barcelona, Spain, featured a comprehensive conference program of live panel events focusing on topics chosen to be of vital interest to the seafood industry.

The 28 individual presentations from SENA and the 21 sessions from SEG featured exclusive information and insight from seafood industry experts, including economic forecasts and analysis on the trends and topics impacting the global seafood industry as it navigates issues of trade, food safety, traceability, aquaculture, sustainability, and consumption trends. Now, a video recording of each of these sessions is available for on-demand replay.

Presented by LEK Consulting Managing Director and Partner Claire Morgan, “Retail Seafood – Where is the Tide Going?” is available free for SeafoodSource Premium members and for USD 300 (EUR 274) to non-members through the Complete Digital Ticket: Seafood Expo North America 2023.

The session was presented on Monday, 13 March 2023, with the following description:

The retail seafood market has evolved over the past decade, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Three key trends have emerged that will dictate the future opportunity:

1. A sustained shift from foodservice to retail: The market has historically been ~70 percent foodservice as many Americans did not know how to cook seafood at home. However, this shifted during the pandemic as consumers learned to cook at home. Consumers shifted to prepared and convenient seafood options in grocery stores during the pandemic and that increased familiarity is expected to sustain post-pandemic.

2. Growth in innovation to increase convenience: The seafood industry has historically lacked a strong branded player and marketing / packaging has not been a focus for manufacturers. This has changed in recent years, with significant innovation in the fresh and frozen aisles. Companies have rolled out seafood entrees and meal kits that increase convenience and made cooking seafood at home more accessible to consumers. Those offering basic filets or breaded / battered products are starting to fall behind.

3. A rise in shelf-stable and ready-to-eat seafood: The U.S. shelf-stable seafood retail market saw a surge of ~$500M in 2020 as consumers looked to stock up on staple items. Brands like Starkist, Bumble Bee, and Chicken of the Sea benefitted from this spike as did trendier tinned fish producers who had begun to gain share pre-pandemic. Outside of the shelf-stable seafood market, demand for ready-to-eat sushi has also grown as consumers have increased their comfort level for buying seafood at the grocery store.

Let’s join together as a group to discuss the implications of these trends and the opportunities they present for industry participants.

The entire package of videos from Seafood Expo Global can also be purchased for USD 300 (EUR 274) for non-members and is free to SeafoodSource Premium members through the Complete Digital Ticket: Seafood Expo Global 2023.


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