‘Easy as’: Seafood industry hopes to market its way out of downturn

‘Easy as’: Seafood industry hopes to market its way out of downturn
Hit early and hit hard by the pandemic, Australia’s seafood industry hopes a new marketing campaign will help fill the void by increasing domestic consumption.

Key points:

  • Australia’s seafood industry has developed its first whole-of-industry marketing campaign
  • Two of the industry’s three key markets were wiped out by the coronavirus trading downturn
  • The industry wants to remind consumers that seafood is easy to cook

The Great Australian Seafood brand intends to give Australians a fresh perspective on the industry, with the tagline “easy as” encouraging more to buy and cook seafood from local sources.

Seafood Industry Australia chief executive Veronica Papacosta said if all consumers bought an extra serve of seafood each week, it would have huge benefits for the industry.

Ms Papacosta said the $4 million campaign was funded by the Federal Government as a way of providing relief from the trading downturn caused by coronavirus.

“The seafood industry has been one of the first and one of the hardest hit through the COVID pandemic,” she said.

“The export and food service markets are two of our main markets behind the domestic consumption market, so obviously this was a bid to help keep seafood moving through the supply chain.”

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Australia’s lamb and pork industries have for years promoted the virtues of their products through widespread marketing campaigns, however this is the first time the seafood industry has come together to do the same.

Lakes Entrance Fishermen’s Co-Op general manager Brad Duncan welcomed the campaign and said it was a long time coming for an industry that, despite having a workforce of 14,000 people nationwide, was often overlooked.

“Everyone knows where their milk comes from, but not everyone knows where their seafood comes from.”

According to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, an estimated 70 per cent of all seafood consumed in Australia is imported. 

Mr Duncan said while his wholesale business had struggled during the pandemic, he found the reduction in imports had turned consumers’ attention to buying local. 

Still from the seafood industry's new marketing campaign, showing the Great Australian Seafood branding.

The campaign aims to remind consumers that seafood is easy to cook.(Supplied: Seafood Industry Australia)

In Melbourne, The Fish Shoppe owner Josh Pearce said he was also backing the campaign, especially its focus on changing the stereotype that seafood was tricky to cook. 

“There’s a perception that it’s difficult, but I think that’s because there’s such a large variety of seafood; in reality, it’s just as easy as cooking pork or lamb,” he said. 

The feature of the promotion is an ad which will be seen on TV and online.

Printed material will also be displayed in shops reiterating how easy seafood is to cook, which both Mr Duncan and Mr Pearce said they would happily display in their stores.

Having spent years working with local fishmongers around Lakes Entrance, Mr Duncan said ultimately he hoped every Australian could come to appreciate the industry as much as he did. 

“It’s so sustainable, we have fishermen that treat the ocean like it’s their paddock,” he said. 

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