Copper River King Salmon More Rare and Expensive Than Ever

Posted by on Saturday, July 1st, 2017 with 0 Comments

It’s May and that means the Pacific Northwest (and the San Francisco Bay Area) is celebrating the arrival of the famous Copper River king salmon. These enormous, silver fish have bright red, firm flesh, and a particularly rich flavor because of extra fat the fish store for the exhausting fight upriver to spawn. Copper River kings are so striking and have become so iconic that the very first catch of the season is a worldwide media event. An Alaska airlines pilot delivers the first fish to the Seattle Airport, where three chefs have a cook-off on the tarmac. Photos of the pilot with a behemoth salmon slung over his shoulder become somewhat of an internet sensation, adding to the excitement of the season’s opening.

Image of Copper River king salmon

Trophy King (Chinook) Salmon, Silver color stage. 

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Making the Most of Younger Customers: Three Ways to Target Millennials in Bay Area Markets  

Posted by on Thursday, June 1st, 2017 with 0 Comments

Millennials are the fastest growing population on the planet, on track to outspend Baby Boomers very soon. Next year, U.S. Millennials will spend an estimated $200 billion, according to Advertising Age. So how can you capitalize on some of that buying power?  Here are some simple strategies to employ if you’re looking to catch the eye of the largest generation currently on earth.


Millennials are the fastest growing population

     1.Get Social

Millennials grew up in the age of the internet and the cell phone. They generally avoid traditional channels of media and spend lots of time on social media. If you want to sell seafood to Millennials, especially in the tech-centered San Francisco Bay Area, go where they are: online. If your market doesn’t already have a Facebook page, Twitter account and Instagram account, create them and spend a few minutes a day posting. Encourage customers to like your page and follow your accounts. Use customers to spread your message as well. For instance, offer a special sale price to those who “check in” to your market on Facebook. “Checking in” takes about ten seconds, and voila, now all your customers’ Facebook friends see that she just bought fish at your market. They’ll even see exactly where your market is located. Many customers are sure to personalize the check-in post, giving you a shout-out to dozens, if not hundreds of people.  Last but not least, make sure to incorporate video on your social media accounts. Younger generations gravitate more toward online videos than any other medium, according to experts.  

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The Best of Wholesale Bay Area Seafood: Getting Customers Excited About Seasonal Winter Seafood

Posted by on Saturday, January 21st, 2017 with 0 Comments

Bay Area waters are home to several species of rockfish, which are under-appreciated and in season right now. Image source: Flickr CC user Ken Curtis

We all know that asparagus and tomatoes have a season (spring and summer, respectively), and being in the seafood business, we are also keenly aware that our wild, sustainable seafood here in the Bay Area is also affected by the changing seasons. Certain fisheries are closed and restricted during some months and open during others. With some fisheries, there’s a huge amount of anticipation around their reopening each year as the season begins (think Dungeness crab), but other fisheries don’t create the same excitement. So what local, in-season seafood can we get customers excited about in January and February, keeping in mind that shoppers are willing to pay more for local fish, and how can we encourage seafood sales with value-added products?

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Prepared Meal Kit Services Offer a Model for Seafood Departments Serving Busy Bay Area Customers

Posted by on Wednesday, January 11th, 2017 with 0 Comments

As well as making it easy for customers to prepare and plan meals, meal kits can also introduce shoppers to more unusual seafood, like squid. Image source: Pixabay CC user falco

While I work around food–seafood–all the time, like many people, my life is pretty busy. I’ve thought many times about joining a meal kit service such as Blue Apron, Sun Basket, or HelloFresh to make dinnertime a bit simpler and more streamlined. While researching some of the available services for my family, I was struck both by how little I could tell about the provenance of the seafood, and also by the commitment I would need to make (few services let you order just one meal kit at a time).

Yet, services like these are increasingly popular for a reason. People are looking for ways to eat healthy meals made from whole food while expending a minimal amount of time and effort. As seafood vendors, what can we learn from this trend?

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Increasing Customer Confidence in Wholesale Seafood Authenticity Amid Bay Area Mislabeling Concerns

Posted by on Thursday, January 5th, 2017 with 0 Comments

Source commonly mislabeled fish, like red snapper, only from a vendor you can trust. Image source: Flickr CC user Louisiana Sea Grant College Program

A more recent study showed that the Bay Area still has problems with mislabeled seafood, though it’s not the only city, by far, with these issues.

As a seafood vendor in the Bay Area, it is imperative that my customers trust me to source the most sustainable seafood we can find–and that the seafood we sell is exactly what we say it is. So how does this mislabeling happen, and how can we reassure our Bay Area customers that the seafood we sell is what it purports to be?

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Consumer Trends in Seafood: Fish Belly from Wholesale, Sustainable Bay Area Fish Is the New Bacon

Posted by on Sunday, January 1st, 2017 with 0 Comments

Fish belly is often served in restaurants raw, as sushi, but there are many ways to cook with this delicious cut. Image source: Flickr CC user Jason Bagley

Chances are most of your customers have had fish belly before at sushi bars where it’s known as toro—fatty tuna belly. But that’s bluefin tuna, a species that has been overfished. Offering fish belly from sustainably harvested fish species–like salmon, halibut, and albacore tuna–feeds customers’ love for this rich cut of meat without the environmental consequences of bluefin tuna.

Sourced locally, fish belly from local Bay Area species also has the added appeal of being a hometown product. Local fish belly will also be a lot cheaper for customers than what they’re used to paying for toro at their local sushi bar. And for us as vendors, fish belly opens up a new product line.

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Fill Your Bay Area Seafood Counter with Wholesale Dungeness Crab to Spark New Year’s Eve Party Ideas

Posted by on Friday, December 30th, 2016 with 0 Comments

Image of Dungeness CrabDungeness crabs are a natural for an indulgent, celebratory meal on New Year’s Eve. The trick is to offer a variety of Dungeness options. Image source: Flickr CC user Louisiana Sea Grant College Program

 We all know the signs of a customer in the throes of a decision about what to make for New Year’s Eve. They’ll make a pass by the seafood counter, pause, maybe check their grocery list or look up recipes on their phone, then peruse the meat counter before coming back and staring at the seafood again. They’ve already done so much shopping for Christmas that they’re tired of making decisions, and probably tired of cooking, too.

But for New Year’s Eve here in the Bay Area, there’s an obvious choice. We all know this area has a long tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving with Dungeness crab, but Dungeness is also the perfect way to ring in the New Year. Its relatively high cost-per-pound means it’s a bit of a luxury item for most, making it a good final splurge for the end of the holiday season. It’s also healthy, local, sustainable, and easy–especially if your counter sells it pre-cooked, cracked, and cleaned, or already picked in tubs and ready to become crabcakes or dip.

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The Feast of the Seven Fishes Draws on Local Wholesale Seafood for a New Bay Area Christmas Tradition

Posted by on Monday, December 5th, 2016 with 0 Comments

Dungeness crab is local, sustainable, and in season during the holidays, making it a perfect choice for customers looking for a centerpiece for their Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. Image source: Flickr CC user Becky Berry

One of my favorite holiday traditions happens to be Italian–it’s the Feast of the Seven Fishes, usually eaten on Christmas Eve, and it is the perfect way for us in the seafood industry to celebrate our professional passions with our families. That’s especially true here in the Bay Area, where we have such a wide variety of delicious, sustainable, local seafood that is perfect for this festive celebration. For that reason, I think the Feast of the Seven Fishes should be not only an Italian tradition, but also a Bay Area tradition–a way for seafood lovers to try new recipes and indulge in seasonal favorites like Dungeness crab. So what is the Feast of the Seven Fishes, and how can Bay Area seafood vendors make it part of Bay Area tradition?

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Good News for Sustainably-Minded Bay Area Customers and Vendors: 2016 Alaskan King Crab Season Booms

Posted by on Sunday, November 13th, 2016 with 0 Comments

This year’s booming Alaskan king crab season is a good sign for the species, and especially good news for Bay Area customers who care about the sustainability of king crab populations. Image source: Flickr CC user Eric Heath

I know the spotlight here in the Bay Area has been on Dungeness crab lately, and if you’re like me you’ve been keeping up-to-date on the latest news about the local fisheries. But don’t forget about another customer favorite from this side of the country: king crab. Alaskan king crab is having one of its best seasons in recent memory in spite of predictions of a less-than-stellar season.

“From the time we set pots in the water, we were done in 60 hours,” said commercial fisherman Gordon Christiansen in an interview with radio station KDLG in Dillingham, Alaska. “It was amazing, tremendous fishing. We’d like to go out again and do it again tomorrow.”

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Why the Bay Area Is Optimistic About the Wholesale Dungeness Crab Season and What Vendors Should Know

Posted by on Monday, November 7th, 2016 with 0 Comments

As ocean conditions are promising to be much better than last year, Bay Area wholesale seafood vendors should look forward to the upcoming Dungeness crab season! Image courtesy of Flickr CC user Jazz Guy

Last year during the November closure of our local Dungeness crab fishery due to domoic acid, hundreds of vendors and thousands of people (myself included) around the Bay Area dearly missed our annual indulgence in one of San Francisco’s favorite seafood dishes. I also felt for the fishermen whose livelihoods depend on this economically important fishery. It was a relief when the fishery was opened up again back in May, but at that point in the season it was almost too late to enjoy them. This year promises to be different, as scientists and fisheries managers are optimistic about 2016-2017 ocean conditions and the state of Dungeness crab fishery.

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