Author: Madelyn Kearns
Consumers are now more aware than ever that eating seafood is a healthy choice. That’s good news, but it’s also a challenge, according to Susan Marks, the sustainability director for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI).
During a panel session at this year’s SeaWeb Seafood Summit in Barcelona, Spain, Marks spoke on the latest consumer insights ASMI has uncovered through its various campaigns and initiatives aimed at convincing communities around the world to indulge in Alaska seafood. Today’s consumers are a curious bunch hungry for details, Marks said. As such, it’s no longer enough to simply tell them that seafood is healthy – the seafood industry will have to be more specific than that. We’ve entered the era of “functional nutrition messaging,” Marks explained.
“The buzz phrase for us right now is functional nutrition messaging. In a nutshell, it’s not enough just to say seafood’s good for you anymore – we need to explain to consumers exactly what that means for different parts of their body. We need to give them information that they can embrace and sink their teeth into,” she said.
ASMI has been incorporating functional nutrition messaging into its various marketing campaigns geared at consumers all around the world. Materials include an infographic depicting a dancer, with several plots that detail how Alaska seafood can enrich different regions of the human body. The organization is also working with a number of “third party voices like bloggers, media and athletes,” as well as doctors, dieticians, and conference leaders to help spread Alaska seafood’s deepening wellness message, Marks said.
“This concept of functional nutrition messaging is really being integrated into many of our campaigns and collaterals. We share this with registered dieticians and leaders at conferences to further showcase the benefits,” she said.
“We’re putting this ‘good for you, good for the planet’ strategy into practice on a global level, from Brazil to Japan,” Marks added.
The growing digital landscape is altering the way consumers engage in their personal wellness and fitness, as well as “the way that [they] shop, including for seafood,” Marks said. In this realm, there’s an opportunity for the seafood industry to leverage its strong lifestyle message with technology and a growing fitness focus to reach more consumers moving forward, she suggested.