Seafood Product Preparation & Packaging

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 460 seafood product preparation and packaging companies in the US process fish, shellfish, crustacea, seaweed, and other sea life into fresh, canned, dried, smoked and frozen foods, as well as bait and seaweed products. Processors are often located along coasts or rivers to speed access to fresh catches. Some firms process seafood on vessels or “floating factory ships”.

Meeting Health Regulations

NOAA’s Fisheries Seafood Inspection Program and the FDA inspect operations and ensure that the industry complies with food safety regulations.

Health and Seasonality of Fisheries Supply

The seafood product preparation and packaging industry relies on healthy fisheries and is subject to limits on seasonal catches.

Industry size & Structure

The average seafood product manufacturer operates a single location, employs 70 workers and generates $29-30 million in annual revenue.

    • The industry consists of about 460 companies that employ 32,300 workers and generate $13.7 billion in annual revenue.
    • The industry is concentrated with the 20 largest firms representing 57% of industry revenue.
    • The average American eats 19 pounds of fish and shellfish each year, which totals 6.2 million pounds consumed annually.
    • Large companies include SeaPak, Beaver Street Fisheries, East Coast Seafood, American Seafoods Group, and H&N Foods International. Many of the large companies, like Thai Union, Starkist, and Bumble Bee, are US divisions of foreign firms.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Seafood Product Preparation & Packaging Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  Nov 21, 2022 - New Record Keeping Requirements
                                  • Seafood suppliers will face new record keeping requirements under a new US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rule finalized in November. The new rule is designed to reduce contaminated food through the food supply, whether sourced in the US or abroad. The additional record keeping requirements apply to those that manufacture, process, pack, or hold certain foods, including all histamine-producing species of finfish, all finfish potentially contaminated with ciguatoxin (such as grouper, barracuda and snapper), and all finfish. The rule also applies to all smoked fish, mollusks, and crustaceans. Key features of the final rule include an expansion of FDA's authority to require companies enact new food-safety requirements, including the identification of critical tracking events at specific points in the supply chain – such as harvesting, cooling, initial packing, receiving, transforming, and shipping foods. FDA may also require the creation of a traceability plan.
                                  • Decades-high Inflation continues to drive down US seafood sales, although the sales drop in October 2022 was less than in previous months, SeafoodSource reports. Prices of shelf-stable seafood jumped 12.5%, while frozen seafood prices rose 10.2%, and fresh seafood prices climbed 4.2%, according to new data from IRI and 210 Analytics. “October seafood inflation showed some improvement over the past year. While prices still rose over prior year levels for all but fresh shellfish, the increases were much milder than those seen in the first half of 2022,” 210 Analytics Principal Anne-Marie Roerink told SeafoodSource. Despite easing inflation, fresh and frozen seafood sales both declined 3.4%in October, which is less than in previous months. Frozen seafood totaled $627 million in sales for the month, while fresh seafood sales were $570 million.
                                  • Seafood Watch, which rates the sustainability of different seafoods, in September 2022 added the American and Canadian lobster fisheries to its “red list” of species to avoid. The conservation group expressed concern over the risk lobster harvesting practices pose to rare North Atlantic right whales, which can suffer injuries and fatalities when they become entangled in the gear that connects to lobster traps on the ocean floor. The warning is causing some retailers to remove lobster from their menus. Thousands of businesses, including meal kit companies, use Seafood Watch's recommendations to inform their seafood buying decisions, and many have pledged to avoid any items that appear on the red list, Food Manufacturing reported in September. The lobster fishing industry, which recently lost a legal battle against federal fishing restrictions to protect the whales, is vigorously pushing back against the Seafood Watch “Red List” warning.
                                  • Lobster fishermen in Maine lost a legal battle to overturn whale protections that limit the lobster harvest, Fox Business News reported in September 2022. A US District Court in Washington, DC denied a request from fishing groups that sought to challenge new fishing rules designed to protect rare whales. The rules are meant to protect North Atlantic right whales, which number less than 340 and are vulnerable to becoming entangled in fishing gear. The ruling is the latest in a string of legal setbacks for the lobster industry in New England, which is also contending with increasingly strict fishing rules meant to protect the whales, according to Fox Business.
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