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Increasing demand for U.S. seafood

USSIA works to both expand seafood consumer demographics as well as maximize price and preference premiums for U.S. harvested seafood.

Beef, pork, chicken, and seafood consumption

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture (2015)

While consumption of seafood (from both America’s fisheries as well as imported seafood) in the United States is just off the highest pounds per capita recorded, a look at seafood consumption in the context of other animal proteins is very troubling.  This problem is compounded when examining age-related demographic shifts in seafood consumption.

It is clear that seafood marketing is in need of revolutionary change.  An increasing number of consumers are not aware of the unique advantages of choosing seafood harvested from America’s fisheries.  USSIA’s approach increases seafood demand among key demographics — especially young consumers, that have very low per capita seafood consumption, and health-conscious consumers, where medical and nutritional partnerships can significantly enhance our effectiveness.  At the same time, it builds a price and preference premium in the marketplace, by emphasizing the sustainable and responsible aspects of America’s seafood harvests.

Over 90% of the seafood consumed in the United States is imported.  While imported seafood has a role to play in ensuring consistent seafood supply and variety, locally harvested U.S. domestic seafood should be preferred by consumers.  Yet, most of them don’t understand why.

  • Many Americans go through their entire lives eating little more than fish sticks and perhaps the occasional Filet O’ Fish. Because they were not raised on seafood, many do not even consider it as an important protein source.  This is especially prevalent in the interior, non-coastal areas of the country.
  • Even among those that do include seafood as a part of their regular diet, the demographic trends are not favorable. Each succeeding generation is consuming on average less seafood than the generation before it did at the same point in their lifetimes.
  • Many seafood consumers remain unaware of the benefits to the environment and economy that come from U.S. harvested seafood, even though they would often pay a price premium for these benefits.
  • Many younger Americans are not aware of the benefits of a diet rich in seafoods. At the same time, these same Americans have shown preferences for local and organic food sources.  However, the connection between local food sources and U.S. harvested seafood has largely remained unrealized.

Our Approach

As a complement to our focused public education campaigns, our efforts to correct the record, and our support in creating a U.S. seafood certification system, USSIA works to increase consumption of U.S. harvested seafood through focused marketing designed to change current demographic trends.

  • USSIA targets those that have had little exposure to seafood in general with campaigns touting the health benefits of a diet rich in seafoods.
  • USSIA explains the benefits to the environment that U.S. seafood has over seafood harvested by most other countries, as well as the benefits to America’s economy and food security. In doing so, we create consumer preferences for U.S. harvested seafood among both the “environmentally conscious” and “buy USA” market segments simultaneously.
  • USSIA markets to younger Americans through viral marketing and promoting American seafood by popular YouTube personalities and other young icons.
  • USSIA keeps up with the times by engaging with the public through active, agile social media marketing. We are committed to focused engagement through platforms well beyond Facebook and Twitter, such as Instagram, Snapchat, and whatever the Internet cooks up next.

USSIA and our members are working together to increase demand for seafood harvested from America’s fisheries, something we can all support.  Our members contribute to improving the nutrition of millions of people each year.