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 Industry Structure, How Firms Opertate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Quarterly Insight, 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

                                  Coronavirus Update

                                  Jun 17, 2022 - Labor Shortage Drives Process Automation
                                  • Seafood companies that faced drastic labor shortages as a result of the global pandemic aren’t seeing workers return in the numbers they had hoped. “We are still lacking labor, and the prices for labor, especially for the seafood industry, increased a lot,” Nils Rabe, CEO of Baader North America, a manufacturer of food processing machinery, told SeafoodSource in May. The industry is responding to the labor shortage by automating more of its seafood processing. While many processors were interested in automation prior to the pandemic, interest has accelerated in the past two years. Moreover, instead of a particular piece of equipment that can perform a single role, many companies are seeking a complete transformation of their entire processing lines, Rabe says. As in many other industries, the biggest challenge facing seafood processors is the cost of labor, which rapid advances in automation could significantly reduce.
                                  • Sky-high wholesale prices for Maine lobster have dropped dramatically: from $12.35 to $9.35 per pound from April to May, the largest drop since 2018, reported CBSNews Boston. However, those in the business of processing lobster say the price drop is more of a normal adjustment than a crash. While the price of lobster has fallen significantly, it declined from a period of record-high prices due to relatively low inventory, lobster processor Cozy Harbor President John Norton told SeafoodSource. Prices over the winter were some of the highest in a decade for a combination of reasons. The elevated price for lobster drove the Maine fishery to a record value of $730 million in 2021, shattering the previous record.
                                  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in May unveiled its “Status of the Stocks” report for 2022, which provides details about the health of the nation's commercial fishing industry. The new report said there were 51 fish stocks on the federal government's “overfished list” in 2021. The list includes stocks that have been depleted by excessive fishing and the number was an increase of two from the previous year. Bering Sea snow crabs were among the stocks added to the list. Climate factors appear to be playing a role in the decline of Bering Sea snow crabs. NOAA also removed a few fish stocks from its overfishing and overfished lists. They included the south Atlantic Coast tilefish and the eastern Pacific Ocean yellowfin tuna. NOAA said 8% of stocks with known statuses are subject to overfishing. That means nearly 300 fish stocks are not.
                                  • Due to shortcomings in US import regulations, banned Russian-caught pollock, salmon and crab are likely to enter the US by way of China, according to an International Trade Commission study cited in Food Engineering in April 2022. Russian companies rely heavily on China to process their catch. From China, the seafood can be re-exported to the US as a “product of China '' because country of origin labeling isn’t required. As a result, nearly a third of the wild-caught fish imported from China is estimated to have been caught in Russian waters, according to ITC data. For pollock and sockeye salmon, the rate is even higher — 50% to 75%. At an April 2022 congressional hearing on the Russian seafood ban, Rep. Jared Huffman, a California Democrat, led calls for the expansion of NOAA’s Seafood Import Monitoring Program to prevent illegal seafood from entering US supply chains by tracking shipments from the point of catch.
                                  • The global canned seafood market is expected to more than double in size over the next decade, according to a recent report by Future Market Insights (FMI). FMI forecasts the market to top $82.1 billion by 2032, up from $36.8 billion in 2022, a 8.3% CAGR over the decade. Rising demand in the Asia-Pacific region will outpace steady demand from the key North American and European markets. Canned tuna, in particular, is expected to show growth at an impressive rate over the forecast period.
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