A new, comprehensive analysis of US markets conducted by the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) paints a very healthy picture of the domestic Wild Alaska Pollock market – one that recovered from several years of decline, with American consumers valuing the domestically caught and produced Wild Alaska Pollock over foreign imports.
“Simply put, in one year’s time the industry has erased the entire decline in US Wild Alaska Pollock fillet consumption it experienced from 2012 to 2018,” said Craig Morris, GAPP’s chief executive officer. “Clearly, the investment the industry has made to build awareness and a common brand around Wild Alaska Pollock in the United States market is paying significant dividends.”
GAPP’s report shows that collectively, this record domestic demand coupled with increased imports have caused US per capita consumption of pollock (both domestic and imported) to jump by 38 percent to 0.988 pounds per person in 2019, a level not seen since 2016.
While total pollock consumption grew, most significant is the increase in consumption of domestically produced Wild Alaska Pollock. Fifty-nine percent of all pollock consumed by Americans is US-caught and produced Wild Alaska Pollock. This is an all-time record, compared to all data collected since 2006. GAPP’s report indicates a few factors in this increase, including an increase in domestically produced pollock fillets (195,000 metric tons total, an increase of 15,000 metric tons from 2018) and a decrease in exports.
“I think this news further reflects the industry’s commitment to partnering with our downstream customers to invest in innovation and put Wild Alaska Pollock in front of more consumers in more ways every single day,” said Morris. “Now is the time to double-down and work to make Wild Alaska Pollock a household name in our own backyard.”
In the next year, GAPP will work to utilize its recently released toolkits to further increase familiarity among domestic consumers with Wild Alaska Pollock and will continue to invest in its North American Partnership Program which brings the product in all its forms – including fillet and surimi – to market in new channels or associated with influencers.
GAPP’s report also indicates a growing interest in surimi seafood in the United States showing a higher percentage of US-produced surimi remaining in domestic markets. Overall consumption of surimi increased by almost 4,000 metric tons even while US production decreased by 7,000 metric tons.