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Coalition Updates

GULF SEAFOOD MARKETING COALITION MAKES ITS OFFICIAL DEBUT AT 2012 INTERNATIONAL BOSTON SEAFOOD SHOW

Organization Formed by Gulf and South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc. to Promote Gulf Coast Seafood

TAMPA, FLORIDA – February 20, 2012 – The Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition (Coalition) will make its debut at the 2012 International Boston Seafood Show as the official seafood organization for the Gulf Coast region.

The Coalition was founded by the Gulf and South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc. (Foundation) through a grant from the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.

“The Boston Seafood Show is the perfect event to share accurate and up-to-date information about our beautiful Gulf with seafood buyers, retailers and enthusiasts from all over the world,” said Mike Voisin, Chairman of the Coalition and President of the Foundation.

“This is the year for the Gulf Coast seafood community. The seafood is fresh and flavorful, and we look forward to sharing our story and mission at one of the largest global seafood events.”

The Coalition represents all components of the seafood distribution chain, including tourism boards, restaurants, retailers, processors, wholesalers, commercial fishermen, Sea Grant agents, chefs, charter boat sectors and state seafood marketing executives.

Together, the Coalition will work to provide a cohesive vision and overarching initiatives to showcase Gulf seafood, become the ultimate media source for up-to-date information about the Gulf, and increase support for Gulf Coast seafood.

“As the restaurant chain representative for the Coalition, I am proud to be part of an organization that supports all components of the Gulf Coast seafood community,” said Robert Novotny, Vice President of Purchasing, Bonefish Grill.

“As a unified team with one vision, the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition will work to provide and serve the freshest, best and most sustainable seafood to consumers across the globe.”

At the International Boston Seafood Show, the Coalition will host an RSVP breakfast event on Monday, March 12 from 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. where attendees will have an opportunity to meet Coalition members, learn about on-going Coalition efforts, and sample delicious Gulf Coast cuisine.

The event will be at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on the second level in room 251.

About Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition
The Coalition provides a framework for the seafood community to coordinate marketing efforts among the Gulf States with emphasis on working with tourism boards, restaurants, retailers and chefs.  The Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc. is coordinating the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition through funding provided by the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (NOAA Award #NA10NMF4770481).  For more information, pleasefollow the Coalition on Facebook at Gulf Coast Seafood and Twitter at @eatgulfseafood.
 
About Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc.
The Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc. is a private, non-profit foundation with a general membership and Board of Trustees representing a wide spectrum of the commercial fishing industry from coastal states stretching from Texas to Virginia. The Foundation works with business and academia, along with both state and federal governments to enable commercial fishing industry to better serve consumers. For more information, please visit www.gulfsouthfoundation.org.
 

Brand for Gulf Coast Seafood

With a reputation for great times and premium American seafood, the legacy of the country’s great seafood belongs to the Gulf Coast. Comprised of five states, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, Gulf Coast Seafood has been providing fishermen, grocers, chefs, foodies and many others with not only great food and good times, but also an economic engine that powers the entire region. High in demand, the Gulf Coast produces 70% of the nation’s oysters, 69% of domestic shrimp and is a leading producer of domestic hard and soft-shell blue crabs. And as pioneers in many commercial fishing practices, Gulf Coast Seafood’s taste profile is superior because of the nutrient-rich environment found in the Gulf.
 
                                                               
 
 
    

 

Agencies Contracted

 The Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition, a seafood community organization dedicated to promoting Gulf Coast seafood products,  announced that it has named The Food Group, Edelman and Zehnder Communications for its integrated marketing, public relations and branding efforts. The trio of firms was selected through a request for qualifications process that generated interest and proposals from 27 firms. The Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition was founded by the Gulf and South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc.

“We are honored to have three reputable marketing, public relations and branding agencies as partners to strengthen the Gulf States’ efforts to promote Gulf Coast seafood,” said Mike Voisin, chairman of the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition “All three agencies impressed us with their creativity, deep media relationships and marketing experience, as well as ambitious strategic planning.”

The Food Group will be responsible for strategic planning, the development of the Coalition’s consumer and member website, as well as culinary, foodservice and consumer programs and events.

Edelman will handle media and public relations activities which include the development of a news bureau of ongoing outreach, trade shows, crisis communication, spokesperson training and website content for consumer and media.

Zehnder Communications is responsible for the Coalition’s brand platform and creative execution, web design and social media outreach.

The three agencies will work together for the next three years to meet the Coalition’s core goals – to provide cohesive vision and overarching initiatives to showcase Gulf seafood, become the ultimate media source for up-to-date information about the Gulf, and increase consumer desire for Gulf Coast Seafood.

The Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition will make their official debut at the International Boston Seafood Show, March 11-13, 2012. “The Boston Seafood Show is a perfect event to tell seafood buyers from all over the world about our beautiful Gulf and the variety of flavorful seafood available,” Chris Nelson, vice-chairman of the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition.“This is an exciting time for the Gulf Coast seafood community and we look forward to working together with our retail, restaurant, distributor, tourism and economic development partners.”

 Research

The Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition has hired the research team BIG Communications/New South Research to understand the current market for Gulf Seafood and to identify the proper methods, messages and media outreach to promote the holistic brand of Gulf Seafood. Armed with this information, the goal is to re-energize demand for the premium quality and taste of Gulf Seafood throughout the United States and across the globe.

The research includes in-depth interviews with distributors, restaurateurs and retailers.  In addition, the team is conducting 10 focus groups in five cities throughout the country.  Based on the focus group feedback and responses, a telephone/online survey will be developed for 1,800 participants.

The results will provide the Gulf states with a framework that clearly outlines the relevant target markets for Gulf Seafood.

Coalition Members

The Gulf State Marine Fisheries Foundation contracted with the Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc.  to develop the first coalition of the Gulf Seafood community.  The Committee approved expanding the coalition to represent the charter/for hire boats and tourism industries that have also been impacted by the oil spill.

The new Coalition membership will be:

  • 5 State Association/Processors/Wholesalers (one from each Gulf State)
  • Executive Chef
  • Retail Grocery Chain 
  • Independent Seafood Market
  • 5 State Marketing Executives (one from each Gulf State)
  • Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, Ad Hoc Committee
  • Restaurant 
  • Sea Grant Representative
  • Charter/For Hire Boat
  • Tourism official
  • Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission (ex-officio member)

The Coalition agreed that staff will prepare an in-depth consumer research RFP.  The top three companies will present proposal to the Coalition at their first meeting.

The Coalition will develop strategic marketing assistance to create positive opinions that translates into increased consumer confidence in Gulf Seafood.  Funds will used for assisting all Gulf States and wild species.  Funds will not be used for a specific state or species.

The Executive Committee approved the Coalition having a stand-alone website, working with an outside source for public relations plan and providing emergency and standard media messages for coalition members. The Executive Committee approved the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition meeting to be on May 24 and 25th in New Orleans.