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Governor Reports "Alaska Wild Salmon" Marketing Success
Legal Sea Foods Campaign Making Big Splash on East Coast


September 28, 2004

Anchorage, Alaska - The State of Alaska is succeeding in building national brand awareness for Alaska wild salmon through an innovative matching grant program started last year, Governor Frank H. Murkowski said in a press conference Monday. Murkowski, Legal Seafoods CEO Roger Berkowitz, and NorQuest Seafoods President John Garner joined the governor to talk about the significant impact the state's matching grant salmon marketing program has had on building consumer brand awareness for Alaska wild salmon.

jpg Alaska Wild Salmon

Robert Berkowitz, CEO of Legal Seafoods (center) is flanked by John Garner, CEO of NorQuest Seafoods (L) and Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski (R) as he reports that a special cooperative marketing effort by the state and private industry had tripled sales of Alaska salmon in his 30 restaurant East Coast restaurant group in 2004. Also at the press conference, Garner announced a cooperative marketing effort with Chicken of the Sea to produce and market a smoked pink salmon product in shelf-stable pouches, which will be marketed as a "Wild Alaska Salmon" product. The press conference took place at the State of Alaska booth at the Council of State Governments annual meeting in Anchorage.

In 2003, the governor called on private industry to match $10 million of state funds to more effectively market Alaska salmon to the Lower 48. The Alaska Salmon Marketing Program is a key component of the Salmon Revitalization Strategy, initiated by Governor Murkowski with funding provided by Senator Ted Stevens. It is a multi-level, multi-year plan designed to spur increased productivity and innovation in the Alaska fishing industry.

"The 'Alaska Wild Salmon' brand is making its way to high end restaurants, retailers and homes of consumers across the nation. Through a creative matching grant program, the state is getting more bang for its marketing buck. The Legal Sea Foods promotion demonstrates the success of this public-private partnership," said the governor.

Roger Berkowitz, chief executive officer of Legal Sea Foods, met with the governor today to brief him on the success of their promotional campaign, which positions Alaska salmon as a premier product in their restaurants, located from Florida to Boston. Legal Sea Foods is a privately-held Boston-based restaurant group with 30 locations.

"Legal Sea Foods is in the fish business. Serving the finest, freshest, purest fish is what we do," said Roger Berkowitz. "We and others in the food business have always appreciated Alaska wild salmon as the finest in the world."

Berkowitz told the governor that demand for wild Alaska salmon has increased. This year, Legal Sea Foods plans to buy and sell 200,000 pounds of Alaska Wild Salmon --2-1/2 times more than they did last year.

Also during the press conference, John Garner, president of NorQuest Seafoods, Inc., a division of Trident Seafoods, announced that up to 25 workers will be employed during commercial fishing's off-season winter months at the NorQuest seafood processing facility in Ketchikan. The company will begin processing a new Alaska salmon product that will be marketed nationally under the Chicken of the Sea label.

"The initial launch of the new product will utilize over one million pounds of pink salmon, which will be processed as skinless, boneless smoked portions available in a retort pouch," said Garner.

"Alaska's seafood industry is creative and responsive to the market," said the governor. "The addition of these jobs in Ketchikan and the success of Legal Sea Food's marketing efforts on the East Coast show that the future is indeed bright for Alaska wild salmon and our hardworking fishermen."

The Alaska Salmon Marketing Program is administered by the Alaska Department of Commerce, under the direction of Commissioner Edgar Blatchford. The program is intended to assist Alaska salmon marketers to fund industry's "best thinking" on how to most effectively market Alaska wild salmon.


Source of News & Photographs:

Office of the Governor
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