The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute announced Stephen Gerike has joined their team as the new Foodservice National Accounts Representative as of July 1. In his new role, Stephen will lead efforts to partner with foodservice operators to reach seafood “super-consumers” in the foodservice segment/channel.
As a leader in the seafood industry, ASMI is committed to raising the overall awareness of seafood including its nutritional value and its importance as a healthy protein source for the body in addition to its sustainability for the planet. As part of this mission, ASMI conducted a research study in January 2018 to further understand the current and future seafood consumer. The research revealed two psychographic seafood “super-consumers”, the “Originator” and the “Optimizer”, that account for over 55% of the domestic seafood spend. Stephen will align ASMI and foodservice operator partners to reach these evolving consumers via innovative programing and relevant messaging.
“Our research shows the Alaska seafood industry has earned the public’s trust when it comes to quality and sustainability. Foodservice channels enjoy increased loyalty by menuing Alaska seafood,” says Victoria Parr, Domestic Marketing Director, ASMI. “Super-consumers are also looking for the functional nutrition benefits of seafood: better mental health, anti-inflammation, and enhanced athletic performance, for example. Stephen, with his deep ties in all aspects of foodservice will be an integral part of getting our messages out to chefs and decision-makers who are the food leaders of their communities.”
During his 25-year career in foodservice marketing, Stephen has continued to hone his culinary skills, staying involved in the evolution of food culture and trends. He has been a guest chef at the James Beard House for the past two years and has relationships with the nation’s leading and emerging chefs. He has worked on menu and recipe development for independent and chain restaurants as well as national food festivals. Stephen’s background as a culinary and protein specialist as well as his work with national restaurant chains brings seasoned knowledge to the ASMI team.
“There has never been a better time to work for one of the healthiest proteins on the planet,” says Stephen Gerike. “With consumers that not only seek to know where their food comes from but also expect more in terms of health and environmental benefits, I am excited to join ASMI and bring these messages forward with operator partners nationwide.”