The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) completed new research (Datassential, January 2016) to help foodservice operators understand consumer preferences for seafood at chain restaurants. The research demonstrates that consumers are looking for more seafood on menus, particularly wild-caught seafood, for taste and health reasons. Operators have an opportunity to tap into this consumer desire by swapping out land-based animal proteins for seafood on menus. Seafood, particularly wild-caught Alaska seafood, is a great source of protein and heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids.
Key highlights from the research show that 62 percent of consumers are eating fish/seafood at casual-dining restaurants in any given month (Datassential, January 2016); 72 percent of consumers who eat more seafood than two years ago do so for health reasons. More than half of consumers surveyed would like to see more seafood variety in restaurants and the percentage was even higher for Millennials. Operators who offer a wider variety of seafood menu items can drive traffic and sales.
This new research is a great resource for operators and supports menuing more seafood in place of non-seafood proteins, offering a greater variety of seafood and featuring grilled as well as fried seafood items.