ASC Campaign Caps 2023 with Record Reach
January 17, 2024
After a successful year of farm to fork experiences, ASC’s North American presence is set to expand significantly in 2024.
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) last year reached North American shoppers more than 525 million times, working together with over 45 industry partners. This effort is a result of the global nonprofit’s multiyear marketing campaign to raise awareness and understanding of ASC’s sea green label.
ASC event at Portland’s Bamboo Sushi featuring ASC Certified Hawaiian Kanpachi Crudo dish
“In 2023, we introduced a simple call to action for shoppers and retailers: ‘Sea Green. Be Green.’ Look for ASC’s sea green label when shopping for seafood,” said Dr. Mark Lang, Senior Marketer, ASC North America. “As consumer demand for responsible sourcing increases, we want shoppers to know that seeking out our label assures their farmed seafood was raised and certified according to the world’s highest standards.”
“ASC’s North American promotion is the organization’s largest single marketing investment to date. With the support and participation of seafood partners across the industry, we were able to take our Sea Green. Be Green. message directly to shoppers in 2023, resulting in numbers that were unprecedented for ASC,” Lang added.
In its second year, ASC’s North American campaign featured:
Local Market Activations
ASC dove deep into Portland, Ore., Southern California and Washington, D.C., throughout 2023 with activations that included retail promotions, restaurant initiatives, festival food samplings and more.
Seafood Month Promotion Kick-Off at New Seasons Market in Portland
“Tasting is believing,” said Athena Davis, Marketing Manager, ASC North America. “We emphasize local market activations as a key element of our campaign so that shoppers can experience the delicious flavors of responsibly raised seafood firsthand. From fridge to freezer to fresh counter, ASC labeled seafood is becoming more available to shoppers nationwide and that means access to products that not only taste good, but are making a difference.” Activities included:
- An Earth Month celebration with Portland, Ore.’s iconic Bamboo Sushi showing their shared commitment to responsible aquaculture. The wide-ranging restaurant promotion included a signature dish, “ASC Kanpachi Crudo,” made with Blue Ocean Mariculture’s ASC certified Hawaiian Kanpachi.
- A Sustainable Summer Seafood Series in Washington, D.C. that launched with a May reception for media and influencers at historic restaurant The Hamilton in partnership with Congressional Seafood and Riverence Provisions.
- The D.C. series continued with ASC and Laguna Blanca Salmon teaming up to serve 20,000+ ASC certified salmon samples to festival goers at Giant’s 31st Annual National Capital Barbecue Battle.
- The 6-week Sea Green. Be Green. retail promotion at Santa Monica Seafood’s Southern California markets and cafes, featuring weekly specials on Riverence Provisions trout, Del Pacifico Seafoods shrimp and Kvarøy Arctic salmon.
- A 7-week National Seafood Month sustainable shopping experience with ASC and New Seasons Market across all 19 of the retailer’s Oregon and Washington stores. The activation included online and in-store promotions, education kiosks, samplings, giveaways and specials on ASC certified products, including Riverence Provisions trout, Sea Tales smoked salmon, Fishwife tinned seafood and more.
- A National Seafood Month media and influencer dinner at one of the nation’s most noteworthy sustainable seafood restaurants, Chef Andrew Gruel’s Calico Fish House. Gruel spoke on behalf of responsible seafood, while serving a curated menu of ASC certified Del Pacifico Seafoods shrimp at the popular Orange County eatery.
Chef Andrew Gruel of Calico Fish House with ASC Certified Del Pacifico Shrimp Burger
Digital Media and Social Media Promotions
From Instagram Reels to digital ads, across product giveaways and thought leadership blogs, ASC connected with target shoppers more than 25 million times to showcase the benefits behind ASC’s sea green label. Highlights included:
- Collaborations with retailers like Fortune Fish & Gourmet’s Coastal Seafoods and brands like Sea Tales on cooking demos and product giveaways.
- Partnerships with Instagram’s culinary influencers showing where to shop for ASC-labeled seafood and tips to prep and cook it at home.
- An in-depth thought leadership blog and podcast featuring interviews with producers, distributors and chefs on topics ranging from “Retailers Changing Tides Toward Sustainable Seafood” and the trending farmed seaweed sector.
- Digital and search ads educating targeted shoppers about why ASC’s sea green label matters.
National Media Outreach
ASC’s local, regional and national outreach earned 3,500+ story placements reaching shoppers almost 500 million times with activities including:
- Feature articles explaining why brands like North Coast Seafoods and restaurants like Sushi Maki support responsible aquaculture and use the ASC label.
- A New York City media tour at ACME Smoked Fish’s famed Brooklyn processing facility offering a behind-the-scenes look at how ASC-certified farmed seafood is cared for.
- Collaborations with ASC-certified farmers like MOWI and Del Pacifico Seafoods on product mailers to top-tier national food media.
ASC Media Tour at ACME Smoked Fish Facility in Brooklyn, NY
Expanding North and South (by Southwest) in 2024
While 2023 found ASC North America executing local market campaigns in the Eastern and Western regions of the U.S., the organization will look to the North and South in 2024. Initiatives are set to expand in Atlanta, Austin and Toronto and run throughout the year.
ASC’s campaign will first touch down in mid-March at Austin’s South by Southwest Conference & Festival. ASC will host and participate in panel discussions and an exclusive media dinner, using the cultural gathering as a global platform to transform ideas around responsible aquaculture.
ASC will preview details on these and other local initiatives in the weeks ahead.
ASC’s sea green label on Fishwife tins at New Seasons Market
Learn more about ASC’s sea green label here.