Tilapia popularity, price, demand stay high
As a high-quality, mild-tasting and “approachable” protein, tilapia has been a consistent hit on the menu at Atlanta-based Boneheads, a quick-service restaurant format in the South.
The restaurant chain, which has locations in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas and is in the process of opening three more, goes through about 3,000 pounds of tilapia a month. James Walker, a member of Boneheads’ board of directors, says tilapia resonates with consumers.
“It’s a product they know by name,” he said. “Tilapia has a sweet, approachable flavor that entry-level seafood eaters can enjoy.”
What also makes tilapia successful from a business standpoint is not only its adaptability to various preparations and flavors — Boneheads is known for its spicy piri piri sauce — but also its stability with both price and supply, said Walker.
“We’ve seen prices go up and down, but the increases are manageable,” notes Walker, who says the shrimp market has been much more volatile. As a result, when looking at adding new products, which Boneheads does bi-annually, they are more likely to add a tilapia entrée than something with shrimp, he explained.