US seafood marketing drive in Southeast Asia produces sales results

U.S. marketing authorities reported nearly USD 2 million (EUR 1.7 million) worth of business from a recent trade mission to open Southeast Asian markets to American exporters. 

The September mission to Singapore and Bangkok was planned as part of a new USDA Market Access Program (MAP)-funded Global Based Initiative (GBI) to introduce new products and expand existing U.S. seafood exports to Southeast Asia, explained Colleen Coyne, seafood program coordinator at Food Export USA-Northeast. The group was one of the organizers of the mission, which saw companies meet pre-invited buyers from across the region. 

“As a result of this trade mission, US suppliers reported actual onsite sales. . .for a wide range of USA seafood products including American lobster, black cod, salmon, Alaska pollock, Pacific hake, oysters, Dungeness crab, and rockfish,” Coyne said. “Additionally, suppliers report making 306 new buyer contacts and project additional sales of over USD 5.5 million [EUR 4.7 million] will result from these new market connections.”

Prior to the trip, Food Export-Northeast conducted market research on Southeast Asian markets and market opportunities in 2016. 

“That research pointed to untapped market potential for Northeast seafood products. When we learned that Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and the Intertribal Agriculture Council were also beginning to look at the region for seafood marketing opportunities and that we were all starting from the same beginning point – needing to introduce our seafood products to the marketplace, we thought it would make sense to combine efforts and make a bigger splash for getting buyer attention if we joined forces to conduct a first-ever, U.S.A.-wide, multi-year project to expand awareness for U.S.A. fish and shellfish products in Southeast Asia,” Coyne said.

Six partner organizations are involved in the project: the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI); Food Export – Midwest;  Food Export USA-Northeast; the Intertribal Agriculture Council; the Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA); and the Western United States Trade Association (WUSATA).  

Further marketing activities planned for 2018 will be open to any American company seeking to promote U.S. fish and shellfish products, Coyne said.


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