Many fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which have been credited with reducing inflammation throughout the body as well as improving cognition in adults. Fish consumption provides vitamins A and D, as well as B complex vitamins Niacin, B-12 and B-6.5 Many fish when baked, broiled, pan seared or grilled, offer a lean, low fat dietary option to traditional proteins -- something that is of growing interest to today’s health-conscious consumer. In addition, regular consumption of seafood reduces the risk of heart disease.
“Health-conscious consumers seeking out seafood makes sense,” says Kimberly Gorton, President and CEO, Slade Gorton, entegra’s contracted supplier for frozen seafood. “We're thrilled because there are few choices as healthy for you as seafood. We feel as though it's seafood's time to shine and certainly Health & Wellness is one of the reasons for that. Consumers both young and old seem to be much more aware of what they're putting in their bodies, and they want to make sure that what they're eating is wholesome and nutritious. Seafood meets that need perfectly.”
Balancing Demand and the Bottom Line
Growing consumer interest in seafood presents many opportunities for operators to increase customer satisfaction while satisfying many H&W expectations. But with increasing demand comes the challenge to present menu selections that are cost-effective as well, especially since seafood is a relatively expensive protein when compared to other protein options.
Gorton notes that there are ways operators can meet customer demand without negatively impacting their bottom line and offered the following suggestions:
· USE UNDERUTILIZED SPECIES that may be more cost-effective, but may have a similar cooking and flavor profile to something that's more expensive.
· EXPLORE MORE CREATIVE WAYS TO MENU and plate your seafood selection, like pairing it with pasta or quinoa.
· PLAN AHEAD AND PROMOTE seafood that is seasonally relevant.
· TRY DIFFERENT WAYS OF USING MORE OF THE ANIMAL such as seafood charcuterie using gill to tail.
Fresh vs. Frozen
In the past, when consumers considered buying seafood, fresh was best and frozen was a distant second choice. But over the last decade, improvements in freezing and processing technology have contributed to a change to that perception with frozen seafood being more widely accepted. Recent studies in food industry news have shown that most consumers cannot tell the difference between properly frozen and thawed seafood and fresh fish.1
There are many benefits of frozen versus fresh fish including enabling expanded geographic and seasonal availability, reducing waste because you use only what you need, allowing for menu and recipe development on a national basis, providing enhanced product innovation and reducing costs since frozen fish frequently costs less than fresh fish.
Download our Gluten Free recipe booklet to find recipes for Greek Cod with White Beans and Yogurt Sauce, White Bean Waffle with Shrimp & Gravy, Shawarma Rubbed Tuna Mezze.
1“Best Practices: Frozen,” www.alaskaseafood.org/foodservice/practices/pages/best-frozen.html