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Salmon specifically, and seafood in general, is becoming more important to U.S.
consumers. In 2017, 47% reported that the
seafood category was very important or
extremely important, and in 2018, this number increased to 55%, says Sundheim. “The
country of origin has also increased in importance,” he says. In 2017, 37% found it to be
very or extremely important and, in 2018, this
number had risen to 42%.
Norwegian exports to the U.S. have
increased by a whopping 140% since 2014,
making the U.S. the fourth-largest country for
Norwegian seafood exports, according to the
Norwegian Seafood Council. “For salmon,
Norway’s ability to match the requirements
for non-GMO, no added hormones and
no antibiotics in the proteins has been an
important factor for some retailers in their
purchasing decisions,” says Sundheim.
The Norwegian Seafood Council offers
Recipe for Success
merchandising and information kits for
retailers, along with handling tips and tips
for guiding customers at the seafood counter.
The council also offers training sessions for
seafood counter personnel.
“The biggest barriers for consumers to eat
more seafood are a lack of knowledge of how
to buy seafood and how to cook it,” says Linda
Cornish, president and founder of Arlington,
Va.-based Seafood Nutrition Partnership
(SNP), a nonprofit dedicated to building
awareness of the health and nutritional benefits of seafood.
SNP, which has worked with scores of retailers—including Food Lion, Hy-Vee, Ingles,
Kroger, Meijer and Publix—to support in-store
seafood promotions, encourages grocers to
offer cooking classes, demos, sampling, store
tours, recipes and fact sheets at the seafood
counter or with the supermarket dietitian.
“We’re excited to see retailers responding
with innovative solutions such as presea-
soned seafood packs at the fresh counter that
consumers can take from store to oven for a
great seafood meal,” Cornish says.
While SNP offers grocers a wealth of sea-food-related resources, the No. 1 request the
organization receives is for recipes. “Since one
of the biggest barriers to seafood consumption
is not knowing how to cook it, providing easy,
approachable recipes for a variety of species
is a helpful resource for consumers and SNP’s
partners and stakeholders,” she says.
The key to a good recipe, Cornish continues, is to describe how the fish should feel
and how to know when to take it out of the
oven. “A good recipe should provide that
boost of confidence a consumer may need to
try something new,” she says.
Knowing that in-store dietitians are a
front line for consumers, SNP also offers
a RDN Communications Toolkit. “Our
resources help the dietitians with articles for
their websites, in-store magazines, in-store
demos, podcasts, webinars and much
more,” Cornish says.