Alaskan salmon. (Photo Credit: ASMI)
Alaskan seafood now being imported directly
Monday, July 01, 2013, 02:20 (GMT + 9)
Alaskan seafood has begun being imported directly into Brazil this month via supplier Noronha Pescados. The products are Alaska salmon, pollock and cod and they are going straight to Walmart, Pao de Acucar, Cencosud and other Brazilian stores.
Michael Cerne, the executive director of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI), attributed the quick and relatively recent growth of Brazil’s interest in Alaskan seafood to ASMI’s marketing initiatives.
“The Brazilian programme for ASMI is relatively new. We just started about a year and a half ago," said ASMI’s Brazilian marketer Jose Madeira, KMXT reports. "We’re like a beef country, but per capita consumption of seafood in Brazil has like doubled in the last decade.”
Until now, Brazil had only been exposed to Alaskan cod, but it was shipped through Portugal, where it was salted. Because of that midway point, Cerne explained that the fish could no longer be labelled “Alaskan” as there was a lack of traceability.
But directly shipping the fish to Brazil does allow for the fish to be labelled as Alaskan, which paves the way for other Alaskan fish, Madeira stated.
“So we’re also exploring other opportunities with other species like salmon, halibut, black cod and some other species," he said. "So we see great potential for Brazil; it’s a relatively new market, and we’re just starting to see the numbers moving up.”
Based on the price point, the target market will probably be middle class and upper middle class, according to Dru Fenster, a spokesperson for ASMI, The Cordova Times reports.
Madeira has been in charge of much of the marketing and promotion behind the scenes, which, as Cerne pointed out, is responsible for growth in the markets.
“We do a lot of promotion efforts with our partners in Brazil supporting the importers," he said. "We do retail merchandizing, we have a very extensive programme for advertising, trade missions, participate in trade shows. We just organized a buyer delegation from Brazil to come to Alaska in July.”
He acknowledged that Alaska wild salmon is up against the very popular farmed Atlantic salmon in Brazil, although ASMI sees a lot of potential in the food service industry.
"We have a strong message about salmon, and I think eventually we’re going to break into the Brazilian market and get some very good market share,” he added.
ASMI has been working within Brazil since 2011 and conducted two trade missions there in March and December 2012. Its figures show that imports from Alaska doubled last year and Cerne expects the trend to keep progressing.
By Natalia Real