Microbes and Antibiotic Resistance: Choosing Healthy Aquaculture Products Is Key to Customer Loyalty

Posted by on Monday, October 24th, 2016

Offering seafood products from healthy aquaculture farms is important for keeping customers loyal. Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons User Natalie Maynor.

On my weekly trip to the local grocery market here in the Bay Area, I make it a point to seek out organic, free-range, antibiotic-free chicken, beef, and pork. These labels tell me that my choice of protein is healthy and not full of pharmaceutical drugs or growth hormones. But it is different for seafood. Walking into any grocery store or market in the Bay Area, customers will see labels like “sustainable,” “wild-caught,” and “farm-raised”, with no mention of antibiotics.Yet the “antibiotic free” label on farmed fish is actually becoming more common in the seafood industry, alongside consumer awareness. The growth of aquaculture has brought forth concerns over the use of drugs, much the same as other food industries.

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Wholesale Salmon Sales Soar: Customer Preferences Shift Toward Healthier Seafood in the SF Bay Area

Posted by on Sunday, October 16th, 2016

Salmon is a particularly nutrient-rich fish, which appeals to increasingly health-conscious customers. Image source: Flickr CC user Sharon Chen

Health conscious consumers in the Bay Area are seeking out nutrient-rich foods–as witnessed by our residents’ love for vegetable juices, kale, nut butters, and lentils–and that means they’re also looking for seafood that’s rich in nutrients as well, like omega-3. There’s a big difference between wild salmon, which is incredibly rich in omega-3 and other nutrients, and some other types of fish which, although are often a great source of protein, can be nearly devoid of omega-3s. As we all pay closer attention to nutrition, how have our seafood sales changed? And how can we keep up with consumers’ preferences?

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A Model for Bay Area Businesses: Target Meets a Goal of Offering 100% Sustainable Seafood

Posted by on Friday, October 14th, 2016

Target Meets a Goal

I think of Target as an affordable source of common household items, but when I’ve visited my local Target, I’ve never really considered going there for the sole purpose of purchasing fish. Surprisingly, it turns out that Target is actually one of the best sources for sustainable seafood products.


Back in 2011, Target set the incredibly ambitious goal of selling only sustainable or traceable fresh and frozen seafood by the end of 2015. Although it’s coming a year later than planned, Target now offers 100% sustainable seafood in its own brands, and 97% of company’s entire seafood assortment, with the remaining 3% of products set to meet compliance by the end of 2016.

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California’s Aquaculture Potential Could Boost the Bay Area Wholesale Seafood Industry with Locally Farmed Fish

Posted by on Friday, October 7th, 2016

Locally Farmed Fish

When I visit my local seafood store in nearby Oakland, it’s pretty straightforward to find sustainable wild-caught fish for my family’s dinner table. However, when it comes to farmed seafood it’s a different story. The U.S. imports some wonderful sustainable aquaculture products from around the world, but they are far outnumbered by the unsustainable ones we import. Unlike wild-caught seafood, there are very few fish products locally farmed in California available on our shelves. What this means is that purchasing farmed seafood simply requires more time on the part of both the vendor when choosing a responsible wholesale distributor that sells farmed fish, and on the part of the Bay Area consumers who put in an effort to buy sustainable food.

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The Science of Seafood Odors: Ways Bay Area Consumers Can Eliminate Fresh Fish Smells

Posted by on Monday, October 3rd, 2016

Many would-be seafood lovers are deterred by the smell of fresh seafood; however, seafood clerks can allay their fears with a few simple suggestions to eliminate harmless odors. Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons user N Wong

Last Monday evening I planned on preparing an amazing home-cooked dinner consisting of grilled albacore tuna steaks dressed with lemon and rosemary, accompanied by garlic asparagus and fingerling potatoes. I bought some beautiful, fresh tuna steaks and was ecstatic to begin preparing them. So you can imagine the sinking feeling I had when my partner pulled the tuna steaks out of the refrigerator, opened the plastic ziploc that contained them, and immediately plugged his nose with his fingertips and hollered, “Gross, they stink!” As I grabbed them from his hands, I caught a whiff of what he was smelling and breathed a sigh of relief–they weren’t at all spoiled–quite far from it.

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Preventing Cognitive Decline: How the Wholesale Seafood Industry Can Appeal to San Francisco Seniors

Posted by on Friday, September 16th, 2016

Watching my grandmother suffer from cognitive decline was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever experienced. I’d known and loved this amazing woman my entire life–she was strong, willful, and confident, yet I watched her slowly lose her identity over just a few short years. At the time I felt powerless; there is very little action that family members can take against Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other types of cognitive impairment. Our family’s situation is not unique; millions of seniors in America suffer from some type of age-related cognitive decline.


Seafood Fights Cognitive Decline


Recent studies are suggesting that eating seafood at least once a week actually helps slow down the rate of cognitive decline, . Moreover, eating seafood is associated with larger grey matter volumes in brain areas responsible for memory and cognition in the elderly. We’ve known for a long time that the omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood are excellent for protecting the heart, but we’re now learning that they have powerful brain-boosting capabilities! The complex mix of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, protein and other micronutrients found in oily fish and shellfish can actually help protect the brain as our bodies age.

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Salmon Season Update: How to Talk to Bay Area Customers About California King Salmon

Posted by on Monday, September 12th, 2016

Local wild king salmon is highly sought after, but a number of factors have made it expensive and hard to find. Image source: Flickr CC user pui wong {as*q}

The king (also called Chinook) salmon is not California’s state fish (that’s the golden trout) but it ought to be because of its popularity. Fans of the fish like me have great memories of fresh king salmon filets on the grill or reeling in one of the beauties on a party boat off the coast. The season is something I look forward to all year.

But in recent years this seasonal delicacy has become a special occasion fish instead of a kitchen mainstay because of spotty availability, fishery closures, and its often high price. You might remember how, in 2008 and 2009, there was no season at all due to a state closure aimed at helping the fish’s population recover. That’s a frustrating situation for customers and vendors alike.

So what can you tell your customers about this year’s salmon season when they ask why prices remain so high or why there is often no local salmon?

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Interview with Tim Sloane: How the Bay Area King Salmon Fishery Affects the Wholesale Fish Market

Posted by on Friday, September 9th, 2016

Over the last few years, I’ve witnessed the local salmon industry evolve just by observing what’s available for vendors to sell in our Bay Area restaurants and stores. The California king salmon is an incredible fish in terms of taste and healthiness, but where it once dominated seafood counters and menus, it now seems much more common to find only wild Alaskan or farmed salmon.

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The San Francisco Wholesale Seafood Industry Anticipates More Customers Seeking Sustainable Seafood

Posted by on Friday, September 9th, 2016

More San Francisco Bay Area residents and increasing interest in sustainable seafood means more customers will be looking for sustainably sourced fish, like this black cod. Image source: Flickr CC user stu_spivack

I’ve lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for a number of years, and in that time I’ve witnessed numerous small ways that The City has grown. My commute to work has slowly tacked on minutes with more cars on the road, the checkout lines at my local grocery market now creep into the aisles, and all of my friends and coworkers lament the increasingly cutthroat housing market.

San Francisco residents and leaders are always first pushing sustainable actions–the city had its first “Sustainable Seafood Week” last year–which means our seafood markets must also be leaders. A denser population means more and more customers will be walking through the doors of grocery stores and restaurants, and they will be looking for sustainable seafood. This puts the pressure on businesses to be prepared to not only meet the demand of more customers, but also to make certain our products come from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.

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October Is National Seafood Month — Make the Most of It at Your San Francisco Bay Area Store

Posted by on Monday, September 5th, 2016

light fish

Lingcod is a great local fish that deserves more attention that it usually gets. National Seafood Month is a good time to change that. Image source: Flickr CC user dirtsailor2003

I think a lot of us, me included, are guilty of thinking that customers only care about price when they shop for seafood–that they’re really just looking for the best buy, not necessarily the best quality or the most ocean-friendly. But fascinating new research shows shoppers actually value the sustainability of seafood sources above market price. On average, consumers are willing to pay 11 percent more for fish with the Marine Stewardship Council seal or other third-party certification. That’s great news for retailers who value sustainability.

So what should vendors do with these findings? October, as National Seafood Month, is the perfect time to highlight sustainable and lesser-known fish using brochures, demos, and signs about certification. Here are five ideas to make the most of October:

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