February 18, 2021
Wild Alaska Pollock Having It's Moment as Lent Begins
Popular QSR Chains are ‘Saying its Name’ and Celebrating its Story with Super Seasonal Specials
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON—As the popular fish-focused Lenten season begins today, more of the popular quick-service restaurants (QSRs) are featuring menu items with Wild Alaska Pollock and calling the fish and its countless attributes out, directly, by name on packaging, in marketing and on social media, the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) announced today. With more than ten million Americans knowing Wild Alaska Pollock by name than a year ago, according to GAPP’s proprietary research, it is likely that this Lenten season will continue to drive consumer awareness and familiarity with the fish and its story.
“Wild Alaska Pollock used to be a fish somewhat hidden in plain sight during Lent. Industry insiders enjoyed the sales lift but consumers didn’t know Wild Alaska Pollock was the fish they were enjoying in so many products featured during Lent,” said Craig Morris, GAPP Chief Executive Officer. “Yet this year as Lent kicks off its clear that not only are QSRs choosing Wild Alaska Pollock as their protein of choice, but they’re choosing to ‘say our name’ loudly and proudly because increasingly consumers love the product and its story.”
With popular chains including Wendy’s, Long John Silver’s, BoJangles, Arby’s, Del Taco, Jack-In-The-Box, White Castle, Sonic, Captain D’s, and, of course, McDonald’s featuring a Lent special item or items, there’s plenty of options for faith and non-faith-based consumers to choose from. Excitingly, many of the popular restaurants this year chose to make the switch to feature Wild Alaska Pollock and worked with their suppliers to feature tested messages directly out of the Wild Alaska Pollock messaging toolkit produced by GAPP last year.
Additionally, several GAPP North American partners are getting in on the action this season including 7-Eleven with their brand new “fish bites” and Denny’s with their Fish and Chips special platters—perfect for safe, social distant dining in or takeout. Other partners are ramping up advertising currently to ensure consumers are aware of the various options to fully leverage the season—from Wild Alaska Pollock surimi seafood to Wild Alaska Pollock jerky.
“Seafood consumption always rises this time of year, likely because our customers and partners work so hard to ensure it’s top-of-mind,” said Morris. “It’s exciting to see that this year, more consumers will have even more opportunities to see and try Wild Alaska Pollock and that our customers and partners see the value in sharing our story. Gone are the days of Lent-special whitefish anonymity. Our name-brand is here to stay and increasingly becoming a top of mind seafood with an unmatched sustainability, providence, health and taste story.”
Food bloggers and taste-testers are picking up Wild Alaska Pollock’s name as well and describing its many attributes as they rush to review this season’s best specials. GAPP will be actively engaging with those influencers—and consumers—for the next forty days and forty nights through its social media channels and a campaign called “The Fish for Friday’s Dish. And Beyond.”
Using geotargeting and brand-new visual content, GAPP will drive people to learn more about the fish behind the special—both at foodservice and at retail. Consumers catching a glimpse of GAPP’s social media will be treated to factual, yet fun, information about the fish, the fishery and some tips and tricks for how best to prepare this sustainable, nutritious, versatile and delicious fish, perfectly. GAPP will drive consumers to new content on their website which will feature a new “seasonal” special each day.
“Lent used to be a season all about sacrifice and seafood was seen as the substitute,” said Morris. “This year makes it clear that we have real momentum, name-recognition and that this season is no longer about sacrifice, it’s about celebration. We’re doubling down and engaging right now to give this movement some real ‘fins’ and make sure this excitement about our fish carries well beyond this season and lasts all year long.”
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