SEATTLE, WASHINGTON—The Wild Alaska Pollock industry must continue to stand united and work to re-introduce imitation crab to consumers, create relevant product nomenclature, positioning, messaging, and retail activation, says new research, the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) announced today. The two-phased research project that commenced in Fall 2020 and was conducted by C+R Research, a privately held, women-owned marketing research company based in Chicago, has yielded detailed recommendations for the industry—including the potential need to “relaunch” surimi to consumers—which GAPP will present to the full industry on a webinar on June 15th.
“I always like to see challenges as opportunities and this research certainly identified many opportunities for our industry and the future of surimi seafood here in the U.S.,” said Craig Morris, GAPP CEO. “I’m excited to review these results in detail with our full membership, our Surimi Committee and other experts and work to action against these strong recommendations. I’m confident we can do that, together, and have a huge impact on demand going forward.”
The study, conducted over multiple months last year and in the beginning of this year, illuminated the need for new positioning and messaging that emphasizes relevant attributes and addresses consumer needs to change beliefs and educate the consumer. Further, the research analysis showed a strong inclination by U.S. consumers towards “crab” flavored products but noted that the imitation crab story must reinforce and strengthen the crab taste and quality messaging to support purchasers’ choice.
“Most critically, the research showed that education, activation and in-store promotion are necessary to raise consumer awareness of imitation crab (surimi) products and the ways to use them,” said Morris. “GAPP and our industry must continue to give consumers reasons to break out of their imitation crab routines and drive purchase frequency with new recipes and usage occasions.”
GAPP will host a webinar on June 15, 2021, to review these and the other detailed results with GAPP members and interested parties. To RSVP for the webinar, please contact Lydia Moore (Lydia.Moore@alaskapollock.org) for complete information. These results will also form the basis of a new Surimi Seafood messaging toolkit for GAPP members and a comprehensive GAPP marketing plan for surimi seafood products in the U.S.