In focus groups featuring immigrants from four continents, about 90% of the participants said they liked seafood and wanted to eat more of it than they currently do.
Hannaford Supermarkets and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) have put out a new Gulf of Maine Seafood Guide to make multicultural consumers aware of fresh local offerings while further growing the market for sustainable seafood. The guide, which was developed by GMRI and translated by House of Languages in Portland, Maine, can be found at the seafood counter at all Hannaford stores, as well as online. The guide is currently available in six languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.
Featuring vibrant images of whole fish and shellfish, the guide provides information about area seafood offerings, including flavor profiles, health attributes and cooking tips. Customers can learn about a variety of whitefish, including haddock, pollock, and white hake, all available in New England waters. Monkfish and spiny dogfish are spotlighted for their denser meat and strong flavors that hold their own whether included in stews, roasted or grilled. Acadian redfish, black sea bass and scup are noted as being especially good for cooking whole with small bones.
“We know many members of local immigrant communities come from parts of the world that eat much more seafood than Americans do, and through this project we learned more about their interest in local seafood,” said Kyle Foley, sustainable seafood director at Portland-based GMRI. “Developing this guide is an exciting step towards connecting local immigrant communities with our local seafood industry and the amazing range of fish, shellfish and sea vegetables we have in the Gulf of Maine.”
GMRI worked with Hannaford, Good Shepherd Food Bank and Portland Adult Education to create focus groups featuring immigrants from four continents. About 90% of the participants in the groups said they liked seafood and wanted to eatmore of it than they currently do.
“We learned of the need for a guide or an orientation to the seafood that is available locally,” noted Nathan Jewell, a seafood merchandiser at Hannaford. “The groups also helped us understand their preferences – importance of affordability, frozen options and ways to better understand the fresh seafood offered locally. Many benefits came from the work to develop the guide. We understand the needs of our customers and our communities better, and we are seeing new potential for Gulf of Maine seafood, too. I think all the partners learned some things that will help develop the market for Gulf of Maine seafood.”
The guide is the latest development in a long-standing partnership between GMRI and Hannaford. Back in 2010, Hannaford began work with GMRI to vet and audit all seafood products sold at its stores on an ongoing basis to ensure they are fully traceable, come from responsible sources and meet stringent criteria in the grocer’s seafood sourcing policy, which requires that all seafood products sold at its stores meet key sustainability criteria.