National FDA Releases Food Safety and Nutrition Survey Results Fis.com - March 17, 2021 The FDA is releasing the latest results of its Food Safety and Nutrition Survey (FSANS) designed to assess consumers’ awareness, knowledge, understanding and reported behaviors relating to a variety of food safety and nutrition related topics. The findings are designed to help the FDA make better informed regulatory, policy, education, and other risk-management decisions to promote and protect public health. https://fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?l=e&country=0&special=&monthyear=&day=&id=111970&ndb=1&df=0 Pandemic buying shifts prove a boon for direct-to-consumer online seafood subscription services Seafood Source by Cliff White - March 16, 2021 Almost exactly a year ago, Ian Amin, the senior director of supply chain for Home Chef, a Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.-based meal kit and food delivery company, was driving to pick up a new puppy in Wisconsin when he received a call from his boss that would change the trajectory of his entire year. https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/supply-trade/pandemic-buying-shifts-prove-a-boon-for-direct-to-consumer-online-seafood-subscription-services American Food Shopping and Foodservice Habits One Year Into COVID-19 Pandemic Urner Barry by Amanda Buckle - March 16, 2021 Believe it or not, it’s been one whole year since the COVID-19 pandemic upended our lives. Many joked that they thought they would be out of their office or home schooling for two weeks before things returned to normal. Well, the weeks turned to months, and now the months have turned to a year. While some normalcy seems to be returning as more people get vaccinated and states begin to lift or loosen restrictions, for some segments, COVID-19 has changed the way we operate… potentially for the long haul. Food and grocery shopping is one area that has changed significantly since the start of the pandemic last March. About a year ago there were toilet paper shortages and people panic-stockpiling in order to stay home and stay safe. Fortunately toilet paper has returned to the shelves and the panic shopping has subsided, however, Americans still aren’t shopping the same way they were before COVID hit. The pandemic has resulted in consumers placing a high priority on maintaining physical health — and that includes healthy eating. NCSolutions (NCS), the leading company for improving advertising effectiveness for the consumer packaged goods (CPG) ecosystem, conducted an analysis of 12 months of its consumer purchase data, as well as findings from a March 2021 nationally representative consumer survey of 2,017 respondents, ages 18 or older. According to the data, 47% of those polled are eating healthier and cooking more. As SeafoodNews has previously reported, this has bode well for the seafood industry, as consumers look for a high protein item that has numerous health benefits. “The big question on everyone’s mind is: Which of these newly formed behaviors will stick?” says Linda Dupree, CEO of NCSolutions. “Looking back at history, we see numerous examples of behaviors changing post-crisis. After the excesses of the Roaring Twenties and the poverty of the Depression, for instance, many became extremely cautious about money. Some went as far as to save money in their mattresses - behavior that lasted for decades...We expect Americans to sustain their high interest in CPG products and activities that foster self-care and well-being - both physical and emotional - for some time.” With the pandemic causing states to shut down indoor dining or put capacity restrictions on restaurants, many were forced to begin cooking at home. And as mentioned above, almost half of NCSolutions’ respondents cook more frequently now than before the pandemic. According to NCS consumer purchase data, frozen foods was one of the food categories with the highest growth during the pandemic, up 29%. This is where seafood really shined. According to IRI data presented during the "Seafood Success at Retail" panel at Seafood Expo North America Reconnent, seafood made $16.6 billion in multi-outlet retail in 2020, which was a 28% increased from 2019. Frozen seafood had the highest dollar sales at $7 billion, followed closely by fresh and refrigerated at $6.7 billion. Shelf-stable seafood brought in $2.8 billion in 2020. However, each category saw different spikes throughout the year. For example, frozen and shelf-stable peaked in March due to the pandemic and Lent, while summer saw an uptick in fresh and refrigerated seafood sales. But while seafood found success at retail during the pandemic, it took a hard blow in the foodservice sector. As reported by Datassential’s Mark DiDomenico during the “Food and Flavor Trends” panel during Seafood Expo North America’s Reconnect, the foodservice industry saw a 30% decline in 2020. Of restaurants that temporarily or permanently closed during the pandemic in 2020, Datassential reports that seafood restaurants represented 12.6%. With many customers relying on drive-thru, takeout/curbside pickup, or delivery, one of the struggles facing restaurants was getting seafood to the customer’s home while maintaining the quality of the product. Seafood faced another hurdle when restaurants began cutting menu items to help reduce costs Fortunately, one year into the pandemic, things are changing, and DiDomenico is reporting a projected 7.5% increase in restaurants for 2021. DiDomenico acknowledges that the number doesn’t put restaurants back to where they were pre-pandemic, but it’s a start for recovery. And with vaccinations being administered, he expects demand at foodservice to continue to increase. As noted above, more people began to cook at home. So with restrictions lifting and restaurants reopening, Datassential found that people are most excited for foods that they couldn’t make on their own, like Chinese food and sushi. “Sushi Roll with Raw Fish,” “Sushi,” “Sushi Roll with Cooked Fish,” “Shrimp Tempura” and “Sashimi” are all in the top 10 list of restaurant foods that people are most excited for. But just like what NCSolutions found, people seem to be trending towards making healthy choices even when eating out. Restaurants can entice diners with healthy seafood items, but with interest in takeout still high, more work needs to be done to make seafood an attractive to-go item. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1194372/American-Food-Shopping-and-Foodservice-Habits-One-Year-Into-COVID-19-Pandemic FYI's St. Patrick’s Day Fish Legend Seafood News by Laine Welch - March 17, 2021 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch… Today is St. Patrick’s Day. And there is a St. Paddy’s Day fish story – More after this -- Halibut and black cod buyers and sellers: simplify your sales online from one location at the Seafood Auction. Visit www.seafoodauction.net Did you know that eating wild and sustainable Alaska seafood can boost your immune system? Learn more about Alaska seafood’s many proven nutritional benefits at www.wildalaskaseafood.com. March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day – celebrated by folks of Irish descent around the world. St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland where he ministered in the fifth century. March 17th marks the day he died. Legend credits Patrick with bringing Christianity to Ireland, and for banishing snakes - although there are no traces of snakes ever having lived on the island. Patrick also gets credit for popularizing the shamrock - he used the three leafed clover to teach the Christian concept of the Holy Trinity. There is a fish angle to the story - St. Patrick’s Day falls smack in the middle of Lent, a time of strict fasting and restraint for Christians in Ireland and around the world. But the old bans on boozing or eating meat don’t apply on St. Paddy’s Day. In fact, since the 11th century, meat has been eaten during Lent in honor of the patron saint. It’s called “St. Patrick’s Fish” – but it’s really roast pork. The switch stems from a legend that says Patrick had tucked away a piece of pork during Lent in case he couldn’t resist the temptation, but he was soon filled with remorse. An angel appeared, telling him to throw the roast pork into the river, where – you guessed it – the meat was transformed into a fish! On March 17th, stories say the sun didn’t set and it shone for 12 days and nights. It’s also said that every year on the day of St. Patrick’s death, fish rise from the sea and pass by his altar. Seventeen centuries later, St. Patrick’s Fish is still eaten in Ireland on this day. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1194424/St-Patricks-Day-Fish-Legend Hilcorp seeks permit for offshore survey KMXT by Sabine Poux - March 16, 2021 Hilcorp bought several federal leases in a 2017 sale. The company’s now seeking a permit to conduct geohazard surveys on some of those leases. (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) https://kmxt.org/2021/03/hilcorp-seeks-permit-for-offshore-survey/ Opinion Opinions: Biden administration should negotiate fair trade practices with China Anchorage Daily News by Doug Vincent-Lang - March 16, 2021 The Biden administration will be meeting with the Chinese government this week in Anchorage to discuss diplomatic relations. Despite its close ties to China, the state of Alaska has not been invited to participate in these discussions. We encourage the Biden administration to include issues related to the trade of seafood and timber in its discussions, which are important economic drivers in Alaska. https://www.adn.com/opinions/2021/03/16/biden-administration-should-negotiate-fair-trade-practices-with-china/ *Requires Subscription
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