By Janet Krenn
Members of the seafood processing industry learned how to make more with less at Virginia Sea Grant’s 2013 Value-Added Seafood Marketing Workshop.
“The workshop gave processors a broad view of the different things that people are doing in value-added, from the small scale operation to the large scale,” said workshop organizer Dan Kauffman. Kauffman, Seafood Marketing Specialist with Virginia Tech and Virginia Sea Grant Extension partner.
At the November 8th daylong workshop in Norfolk, VA, companies went through their step-by-step process for developing new seafood products, such as trout burgers, scallop alfredo, and shellfish cerviche. Seafood value-added experts spoke about the needs and demands for new products. They also gave insight into how they market value-added products and how expectations differ in retail, food service, and military market channels. Chefs or marketers from Alfa Gamma Seafood, Clearwater Seafood, Atlantic Red Crab, Sunburst Trout, Wanchese Fish and Registrar Corp. along with academic and military experts all gave ideas on how to be successful in value-added.
“It was very practical,” said Susan Park, Virginia Sea Grant Assistant Director for Research who helped plan and support the workshop. “Everyone got a more realistic, step-by-step understanding of what goes into making value-added products.”
Value-added describes foods that are processed beyond their initial market form—think a consumer oven-ready dinner or a frozen stuffed fish fillet that a chef can bake and then dress in a sauce. By reducing preparation requirements, value-added foods save time for the consumer or reduce restaurant labor needs and sell for a higher price per pound.
Overall, the 40 people who attended felt they were more confident about developing and marketing value-added seafood products as a result from the workshop.
View photos from the event on our Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/virginiaseagrant/sets/72157638855595893/