Sefood firms urged not to cut back on marketing –

Sefood firms urged not to cut back on marketing Published:  19 March, 2009

A LEADING business guru has warned seafood companies not to cut back on their marketing just because much of the world was in recession.

Jonathan Banks, business insight director of the global information and media company AC Nielsen, said seafood was not seeing the ‘scary stuff’ in sales that was affecting other industries.

Mr Banks was speaking after the recent North Atlantic Seafood Forum in Oslo. He said: ‘The industry is not recession proof but recession resistant.’ He went on to warn of the dangers of cutting marketing costs in recession- all the experience of previous downturns showing that companies who did this took five times as long to recover, and spent far more to regain lost ground, than firms who kept up their promotional spend.

Market data presented by AC Nielsen showed that currently there was little or no impact on seafood sales – a big disconnect between gloomy economic headlines and the far more upbeat facts. Many seafood companies in Britain, France, Germany and Norway have recently been reporting an uplift in sales – or at least no sign of a massive downturn.

Mike Parker of Foodvest, which owns Young’s Seafood and The Seafood Company in the UK, said: ‘The value of the conference was that you can find out that your own experience of the market is shared by others, which gives comfort.’

Peter Hajpieris of Birds Eye-Iglo echoed the sentiments of many seafood leaders when he said: ‘I’d rather be selling fish fingers than cars right now!’