SeaFood Business

APR 2014

SeaFood Business is the global trusted authority for seafood buyers and sellers. We are the seafood industry's leading trade magazine with more than 30 years of experience. Our coverage is based on the "business" of buying and selling seafood.

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Page 34 of 62

Top Species 30 SeaFood Business April 2014 Visit us online at Photo courtesy of Marine Harvest Farmed salmon Salmon's popularity leads to brand building BY JOANNE FRIEDRICK W hile salmon c o n t i n u e s to achieve a high level of popularit y among all seafood oferings, many in the farmed salmon community are looking to delineate themselves within the overall salmon category by focusing on name recogni- tion. Companies are hoping to make their products more visible and desirable among retail and foodservice custom- ers through branding. Marine Harvest, the world's largest farmed salmon producer, acquired smoked salmon processor Morpol, based in Poland, this past year, and is now looking to expand the brand's awareness beyond Eu- rope to the United States, says Laura McNaughton, business manager for Morpol NA. Te Morpol acquisition coincided with Marine Har- vest's decision to close some processing facilities in Eu- rope and South America, she says. Marine Harvest's smoked salmon was previ- ously produced with fsh from South America, says McNaughton, but Morpol's product comes from farms in Scotland and Norway, which she says produce a fattier fsh. "Te trimmings are bet- ter and more aesthetically appealing," she says, "and I think that will attract new customers." Smoked salmon is popular in Europe, and McNaughton is trying to grow the catego- ry within the United States by looking at what has worked for Morpol interna- tionally. Germany is Mor- pol's largest market. Part of that focus is seeing how product is displayed, and determining the right type and package size for re- tailers. Te rollout is starting with 4-ounce and 8-ounce semi-skin — hand-trimmed pieces with some of the skin left on — packs of Norwe- gian, Scottish, gravlax and two varieties of hot-smoked salmon, all marketed under the Admiral's brand. For club stores, where the cat- egory is already growing by more than 25 percent, the emphasis is on vertical dis- play boxes, she says. Morpol also processes Irish organic smoked salmon that it sells under private la- bels and may expand that into North America, says McNaughton. Te value of Norway's seafood exports, from which Morpol draws some of its supply, was up 13 percent after two down years, and Norwegian Seafood Coun- cil CEO Terje Martinussen credits this new export re- cord to the strong demand for Norwegian salmon on the world market, which re- sulted in high prices in 2013. Te average price of a whole Norwegian salmon was about $3.03 per pound, up 44 percent over the previous year. Volume for Norwegian salmon in 2013 totaled 2.3 million metric tons. Chile, another major farmed salmon producer, saw the value of its salm- on exports for the frst 10 months of 2013 increase by 23 percent, even while the volume declined 13 percent. However, predictions for 2014 are that production will fatten, says Harry Mahleres, director of purchasing for Seattle Fish. Chile's smolt re- lease fgure shows a drop of 3 percent, while Norway's is slightly higher, says Mahleres. Some Norwegian brokers have also spoken publicly about likely price decreases as post-holiday stocks build. Smoked salmon suppliers hope to replicate their success in Europe stateside. 30_34TopSpecies.indd 30 3/24/14 3:24 PM

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