US lobster, crab businesses eye Asian market

Published on
September 3, 2016

Booming demand from Asia has prompted a great number of U.S.-based seafood companies to pursue the market, exporting species including Maine lobster and many variations of crab and salmon from Alaska to capitalize on the eager palettes of the fast-growing region.

The Asian market represents the largest and fastest area of growth for Maine-based lobster supplier Maine Coast, with 53 percent of the company’s sales going to international customers and 60 percent – USD 12 million (EUR 10.7 million) – of those sales attributed to Asia specifically. As such, the company will once again be attending the upcoming Seafood Expo Asia event in Hong Kong, held this year from 6 to 8 September.

"Seafood Expo Asia is essential for us. It may be one of the smaller shows in which we participate, but SEA convenes high-quality buyers who are serious about doing business. It is important for us to exhibit at the show to see our customers, increase brand awareness and build new relationships in a rapidly expanding market," said Lyle Brown, Maine Coast's Asia sales specialist, in a news release.

He continued: "To date, we have already surpassed our 2015 sales to Asia. The growth in countries like South Korea, China, Vietnam and Malaysia has been astronomical and has led us to a 160 percent compounded annual growth rate in the period from 2011 to date. It is just incredible to be part of this demand.”

American Indian Foods’ (AIF) export program will also be exhibiting at the exposition, showing off Native American Indian and Alaska Native wild-caught seafood from the West Coast of the United States. As with Maine Coast, the Asian market is one that AIF is eager to do business with.

“American Indian Foods is excited to participate again this year in Seafood Expo Asia to introduce Native American Indian and Alaska Native seafood products to Hong Kong,” said AIF Program Director Nathan Notah.

Arctic Circle Wild Salmon, Premier Harvest, Sockeye Suzy’s Fish Company and Sugpiaq Seafood will be exhibiting under the AIF umbrella, showcasing products that feature wild Alaska salmon, Alaska king crab, canned salmon and other wild Alaska seafood.

In addition to exhibiting, American Indian Foods is sponsoring culinary demonstrations in the Presentation Theater at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center as booth No. 5-327 on 6 September and 7 September.

AIF will be stationed at booth No. 5-712 during the show, while Maine Coast will be at booth No. 5-815.

Seafood Expo Asia is organized by SeafoodSource parent company Diversified Communications and is in its seventh year.

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