Increase the economic value of Alaska seafood resources.
- U.S. and International Retail and Foodservice Alaska Seafood Promotion, Public Relations and Communications and Seafood Quality Technical Support
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|A: Result - Increased economic value of Alaska seafood resources.|
Target #2: Maintain first place ranking of Alaska Seafood among the most popular food brands on U.S. restaurant menus.
Analysis of results and challenges: Due to challenges experienced by foodservice providers during the pandemic, seafood on menus declined in 2021. However, Alaska Seafood maintained strong brand recognition as the #2 top brand ranking on U.S. restaurant menus. In a Datassential in August of 2019, 64 percent of consumers reported being more likely to order a fish/seafood dish if the Alaska Seafood logo is on the menu and 62 percent of consumers reported being more likely to order a fish/seafood dish when the word "Alaska" is on the menu.
|A1: Core Service - U.S. and International Retail and Foodservice Alaska Seafood Promotion, Public Relations and Communications and Seafood Quality Technical Support|
Target #1: Increase the aggregate value of Alaska seafood exports to Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) program destination countries by 0.5 percent annually.
Analysis of results and challenges: Export markets are critical to Alaska's seafood industry, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of first wholesale value each year. Growth in export volume and value helps maintain markets for Alaska seafood and supports higher values for the State's annual production.
In 2020, the value and volume of exports to ASMI program countries declined 17.7 percent and 16.0 percent, respectively, from 2019 levels.
While data is limited, the decrease in export volume and value in 2020 appears to be caused mainly by the overall reduction in harvest volume in 2020. The percentage of Alaska’s seafood production that was exported increased to 72 percent (by value) in 2020, up from 67 percent in 2019.
Year-over-year export values were down across all ASMI Program Areas in 2020 except for Southeast Asia (+ 5.6 percent), a small but rapidly growing market where ASMI opened a program in 2019. Exports were down steeply in key export markets including central Europe (-33.4 percent), Japan (-16.6 percent), and China (-24.5 percent). China remains the largest single-nation importer of Alaska seafood, although seafood exports are down 46.2 percent from the peak year of 2017, following several years of trade disputes and COVID-restrictions.
The export value of Alaska seafood can be volatile, with 5+ percent changes year-to-year common. Over the last decade (2011-2020), the compound annual growth rate in export value is negative 2.7 percent, well below the 0.5 percent annual goal.
Exports to non-ASMI program areas were down 10.6 percent in 2020, a smaller decline than for ASMI program areas. Exports to Canada were flat (+0.9 percent) and exports were up for Australia (+17.2 percent) and New Zealand (+10.4 percent). Exports were down to South Korea (- 16.8 percent), the third largest importer of Alaska seafood products after China and Japan, although most exports are re-exported to Japan, China and the EU, so these numbers don’t properly reflect true exports.
Summary of market challenges and opportunities:
Increased tariffs continue to be a serious impediment to seafood trade with China. China remains the largest importer of Alaska seafood despite large decreases in export value each year since 2017.
Since 2018, China has enacted tariffs as high as 42 percent on seafood products imported from the United States, including most seafood originating in Alaska. China has excluded from retaliatory tariffs product intended to be reprocessed in the country and then re-exported. However, Alaska's considerable exports destined for the Chinese domestic market continue to suffer from these tariffs at a time when China's seafood consumption is on the rise.
From 2017 to 2020, China's seafood imports from the world increased by 56 percent, while Alaska’s exports to the country decreased by 46 percent.
While product intended for reprocessing and re-export is not subject to tariffs in China, and China also created a system of exclusions for which importers can apply, China has imposed a de-facto non-tariff barrier by imposing strict COVID-19 testing stipulations on imported food and food packaging. The rationale for this testing procedure defies the known science related to the transmission of the virus. Because of the importance of China as a seafood and reprocessing center, these COVID-19 protocols have caused delays and cost increases for the global seafood industry, including for many Alaska products.
Exports are essential to the Alaska seafood industry now more than ever. Although exports were down last year, they grew as a percentage of Alaska’s total production.
The resolution of the Boeing/Airbus trade disputes in 2021 and ASMI’s investment of American Rescue Plan Act funding in the European Union will facilitate efforts to increase exports to the European Union, a core market for Alaska seafood.
Emerging markets for Alaska seafood present opportunities to diversify the base of both end markets and re-processing centers. Despite overall double-digit decreases of Alaska seafood volume and value in 2020, exports to several countries increased, including Indonesia (+72.6 percent by value), and Thailand (+8.0 percent).
Target #2: Increase the ex-vessel value of key species in Alaska's commercial harvest by 0.5 percent annually.
Analysis of results and challenges: The harvest (ex-vessel) value of Alaska's commercial seafood includes payments from processors to commercial fishermen and estimated value of product caught by catcher-processors. Increasing the harvest value of Alaska seafood benefits Alaska residents, in the form of economic activity and opportunity, along with state and local tax revenue.
Preliminary data indicates that the ex-vessel value for Alaska seafood totaled approximately $1,457 million in 2020, a 26.7 percent decrease from 2019.
Ex-vessel values were down across all major Alaska seafood categories, including salmon (-47 percent), Alaska pollock (-14 percent), crab, (-14 percent), halibut (-33 percent), and sablefish (-31 percent). Typically, one species group balances out another and mitigates overall fluctuations. In 2020, however, widespread declines were seen -- caused by a combination of the COVID pandemic and biological factors in multiple key fisheries including salmon and Alaska pollock.
A compound annual growth rate of negative 1.0 percent was observed between the 2010/2011 average and the 2019/2020 average -- less than the goal of 0.5 percent positive growth. It is appropriate to average even and odd-numbered years to smooth fluctuations in salmon harvest values.
Summary of market challenges and opportunities:
COVID-19 supply-chain disruptions and inflation made it more challenging to harvest, process, and transport Alaska seafood in 2021. These challenges are expected to continue into 2022.
Tariffs remain a challenge to selling Alaska seafood abroad, especially in China, the largest direct export market for Alaska seafood.
Snow crab and king crab fisheries are facing steep declines in Total Allowable Catch due to low population numbers detected in 2021 surveys.
While the cost of producing Alaska seafood has increased in 2021, price data indicates that market prices for Alaska seafood are very strong, a departure from summer 2020 dynamics in which many Alaska seafood prices (especially ex-vessel value prices) decreased in the face of uncertainty about seafood demand.
Due in part to increased disposable income (due to decreased spending on services and pandemic stimulus payments) consumers have shown a willingness in late 2020 and 2021 to pay much higher-than usual prices for sought after “premium” seafood products such as king and snow crab, halibut, sockeye salmon, and other species.
Target #3: Continue to generate target consumer awareness via consumer public relations and advertising campaigns.
Analysis of results and challenges: The number of consumers reached through ASMI consumer public relations (PR) efforts increased nearly 48% in FY2021 from the previous year. The FY2021 number shown in the above chart reflects consumers reached through consumer PR efforts in the U.S. as well as ASMI's major international program areas, including China, South America and Europe. This is the second year ASMI has included international consumer PR impressions in this Performance Measure, as it provides a more accurate representation of the consumers reached through ASMI's global consumer PR program activities.
ASMI will continue to focus on increasing consumer awareness by using various methods of media communication including broadcast, print, social or online media public relations and through consumer promotions and campaigns in both retail and foodservice. In FY2021, ASMI made additional investments in digital consumer PR and marketing activities to connect with target audiences amid the pandemic: In the U.S., Consumer PR and digital campaigns reached more than 2.62 billion impressions (+27%). International public relations efforts from China, S. America and European markets resulted in nearly 2.12 billion impressions (+12%) for the Alaska seafood brand in FY2021.
Not reflected above: Results from the ASMI Japan program in FY2021 totaled over 3 trillion impressions following new investment in a consumer marketing and PR program in the region. As noted, these numbers are not reflected in the 2021 total shown in the above chart due to the statistical anomaly. This strategic direction in Japan was made possible by the one-time short-term federal Agricultural Trade Promotion grant awarded to ASMI.
Challenges and Opportunities:
Traditional in-person consumer PR and marketing activities continue to be upended due to the risks of COVID-19. ASMI pivoted in all program areas to connect with consumers virtually through expanded, targeted social media, earned and paid media relations activities. These changing digital habits allow for new ways to educate target consumers on the quality, sustainability and health benefits of Alaska seafood, increasing the value of the Alaska seafood brand.
Current as of November 22, 2021