Four years ago, the Bellevue, Washington-based seafood supplier made the decision to slowly exit the wholesale part of its business and transition to e-commerce, selling only to consumers. Global Seafoods started its e-commerce business with the goals to educate consumers about its seafood and the health benefits, as well as provide recipes and instructional videos on its website.
“Fresh seafood in the U.S. grocery stores, compared to other countries like Spain, France or Italy, is quite a poor variety. We have to introduce more fresh seafood to the market, which is an excellent source of nutrition, tastes good and the reason we started our e-commerce business. We would like to not only sell you the fish, but I want to show you how to cook it in the healthiest and most delicious way at home. Since we started the e-commerce business we have doubled our sales every year and have given consumers high-quality seafood that can’t be found in the frozen section."
Nikitenko started Global Seafoods in 1998 with a small fish processing plant in Kodiak, Alaska, that it still operates out of today, with the dream of producing more fish and producing it better.
Global Seafoods is in the first phase of its e-commerce business plan and expects to have more recipes and videos on its website in addition to a YouTube channel. Its new consumer-friendly website launched in October and provides answers to a lot of frequently asked questions about its products and shipping, in addition to online ordering.
Global Seafoods can track every box of seafood through its production process back to the part of the ocean it was pulled from. “We can track back to the fishing vessel that delivered it, as well as the name of the captain and first mate on the ship,” Nikitenko says. “We can go as far as the fishing ground because every time the vessel brings us a load of fresh fish we know where on the map it came from.”
The company’s tracking capabilities allows it to ensure the fish is pulled from the ocean exactly where the vessel it says it was taken from. “If the vessel says it’s fishing in area ‘X’ and I see them in area ‘B’ we can inform them,” Nikitenko explains. “Luckily, this has never happened because the captains of our vessels are very reliable and live by the rules, but we can track how and where they are fishing. The industry doesn’t require us to keep record, but we do it for food safety and people’s safety so if there is a problem we can look back to see what went wrong and fix it.”
All of the fish produced by Global Seafoods is wild and the company refuses to deal with farmed fish, except for black caviar because it is impossible to get in the wild. “Sometimes I feel like a seafood teacher,” Nikitenko admits. “For example, customers call for Atlantic salmon, but it’s farmed and we only deal with wild fish. A lot of people don’t want fish unless it’s wild, but it’s up to them to find it.”
This post is written by Food & Drink International by order of Global Seafoods North America.