It is always a fantastic experience going to the Annual Boston Seafood Expo to see the heritage of fishing and the generations of families that have made this industry what it is today. At the show, we were able to visit fish houses on the Boston Pier, catch up with many longstanding vendor partners and meet many new partners as well. We have received some excellent information on current markets, as well as many trends within the industry.
*Expect salmon and crabmeat to be the main volatile items with tight supplies for the rest of the year. For salmon, this applies to Chile, Canada, and Ireland. The crabmeat biomass surveys have found that the fishery is failing to produce enough crabs in south east Asia to meet global demands. Mother Nature has played its card with weather and earthquakes, forcing many labels to co-pack for each other.
*Shrimp markets will continue to drag high until the first quarter of 2015. Gulf fisheries have had to pick up the slack but have contracts with national chains and club groups that have taken a stake on this market for the year as well.
*On a successful note, the Gulf American Red Snapper Fishery has rebounded and the Fluke and Striped Bass fisheries have grown back to be a sustainable managed area. Our large striped bass hails from Maryland and each is gill tagged and accounted for. Alaskan Halibut is off to a great start as well with great pricing and super nice fish.
*Scallops have also been under the watchful eye of the National Marine and Fishery Service agency that sets quotas and has government observers on board to make sure they are in compliance. According to our trusted scallop vendor that we had met with, it won’t be until next year when these zones open. That’s millions of pounds of product we had last year that we don’t have this year.
*We also met with a very well-known sustainability group to seek out our chain of custody certification and first in your area with this which is exciting for all to provide you with even more catch information.
*So what’s trending? We saw a lot of smoked salmon, as well as many other smoked seafood products. The reason behind it? American diners have become more sophisticated about their seafood and smoked seafood tends to be a higher end product, not to mention the versatility of it as well. We have seen it on pizzas, in wraps, on salads, and yes, even on French toast!
Another fast growing trend? Oysters- a true game changer in the kitchen. We saw numerous vendors with catchy oyster names and an excellent sea to table story. One advantage of having oysters on the menu is the variety that it provides. Raw on the half shell have become quite popular within the past year and have definitely helped bar sales as well. Whether you couple them with champagne, wine or beer, oysters pair perfectly. We have also seen growing popularity in grilled, BBQ’d and baked oysters Rockefeller, all prepared in the chefs own unique style.
Other new, popular trends include Mussels, Caviar, Squid and Octopus. Continuing from last year, underutilized specialty species continue to top the charts including Arctic Char, Bronzini, and Cobia.
As always, it was another great year in Boston. Until next year fish mongers!
Eat Fish, Live Longer
Euclid Fish Company