Skuna Bay now selling salmon from Norway, Iceland
To meet growing demand from restaurants and retailers, Skuna Bay Salmon recently added Norwegian and Icelandic salmon to its offerings, in addition to its sustainable Vancouver Bay Craft-Raised salmon.
While its Canadian salmon is distributed across most of the United States and Canada, Skuna Bay has not always had the supply available to meet demand, Dave Mergle, managing director, told SeafoodSource.
“Norwegian salmon in the U.S. is growing tremendously; it is the fastest growing category in salmon,” Mergle said. “Norwegian salmon gives us an additional avenue of supply to meet that demand. If we have challenges in one area, we can bring some from another area.”
According to a company statement, Skuna Bay is importing 16,000 to 18,000 pounds a week of the Skuna Fjord, “Hand Selected” salmon from the Nordic Seas.
“The introduction of Skuna Fjord Salmon is the first in what is expected to be a series of new product introductions in 2017 targeting new sales channels, customers and markets, with the main theme behind all being that of ‘innovation,’” the company said
To aid in new product expansion, the company last year invested around USD 250,000 (EUR 236,000) in new equipment for a vacuum sealer, a dip tank, a scaling machine and equipment to produce more value-added products. Skuna Bay also hired an executive to expand its distribution to the southern part of the U.S.
“A lot of our growth is coming from that entire South region,” Mergle said.
The company supplies foodservice operators and a growing list of retailers, including Eataly in New York City, King Soopers in Colorado, and Kozlowski’s in Minnesota. Its distributors include Santa Monica Seafood, Fortune Fish, Seattle Fish Company, North Star, Buckhead Beef, Samuels & Son, and Ocean Beauty.
Skuna Bay’s whole fish Norwegian salmon is from Rogaland, Norway, where it is hand-selected using the same Skuna Bay Craftsman Standard, a 14-point criteria.
“The fish is a little larger [than our B.C. fish], and there is a higher fat content,” Mergle said.
Each box of Skuna Fjord salmon arrives within days of harvest, with a transparent and traceable label signed by the Norwegian Skuna Salmon expert who chose and packed each fish, according to the company. The farms and packing stations are Global G.A.P. certified.
The Skuna Fjord fillets selected from Iceland originate in the Westfjords, in farms with low densities and free from therapeutants.
While Skuna Bay is still getting the word out about Skuna Fjord, Mergle is optimistic that it will eventually generate 20 percent of the company’s volume.
The company’s salmon typically carries a 15 percent premium over typical farmed salmon, but its customers are more focused on quality than pricing. Still, the company’s prices don’t fluctuate like the traditional farmed salmon market.
“We set our price according to what we think is the right value for our product. We just think it’s better to have price certainty for our customers,” Mergle said.