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

                                  Feb 23, 2023 - NOAA’s National Seafood Strategy
                                  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in February released its draft National Seafood Strategy, outlining how the agency will support the domestic US seafood economy and seafood sector in coming years, SeafoodSource reports. The draft recognizes seafood’s benefits to human health, critical role in feeding the growing global population, and economic impact. The US harvests around 10 billion pounds of seafood each year, with a dockside value of $6.3 billion. The draft also recognizes seafood as an environmentally friendly way to produce a nutritious food given its relatively low carbon footprint and efficient use of resources. NOAA supports the goals of increasing US wild-capture and aquaculture production, increasing the industry’s access to domestic and global markets, and better promoting US seafood, highlighting its sustainability and nutritional value. NOAA is currently requesting public input on the strategy through March 16, 2023.
                                  • Retail sales of frozen food increased by $19.4 billion between 2018 and 2022, sparked by pandemic-induced buying that’s continued even as COVID-19 has subsided, according to the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI). Overall, sales of frozen foods topped $72 billion last year – up 8.6% over 2021 – although unit sales declined by 5.1% year over year. Bucking the trend, unit and dollar sales of frozen seafood fell in 2022 compared with 2021 by 2.9% and 12%, respectively, according to AFFI. However, sales and volume of frozen seafood are up by 36.9% and 12.4%, respectively, over 2019, signaling that much of the additional pandemic-related demand is holding, says AFFI.
                                  • Several large restaurant chains are featuring shrimp in new promotions on their menus, SeafoodSource reported in January. Shrimp has gained in popularity among food service buyers as wholesale farmed shrimp prices have stayed relatively steady over the past year, while prices for other shellfish species have spiked, according to SeafoodSource. Restaurant chains currently running shrimp promotions include Legal Seafoods, Applebee’s, Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, Rubio’s Coastal Grill, and Bonefish Grill. (Shrimp and mahi mahi are popular ingredients in fish tacos.) Other seafood currently being featured on menus include mahi mahi and wahoo, along with other fish. Shrimp is expected to continue to be abundant, deemed a good value, and popular on restaurant menus, this year representatives of the shrimp sector told SeafoodSource.
                                  • Globally, the largely-unregulated blue shark fishery is worth more in ex-vessel value than any of the three major bluefin tuna fisheries, a new study organized by Oceana has found. The blue shark fishery is estimated to be worth as much as $411 million and has evolved from bycatch to tuna fisheries to a fishery in its own right, according to the study. By comparison, the Atlantic bluefin tuna fishery was worth $360 million in 2019. Blue sharks make up 60% of the global shark catch, 36% of all traded shark meat, and 41% of all traded shark fins. In volume terms, the study estimates nearly 190,000 metric tons of blue shark were caught in 2019. Despite the high volume, only one of the four main regional fishery management organizations has any quota or restrictions on blue shark catch.
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