- One-third (36%) of adults are eating more seafood in place of meat, according to Technomic’s 2021 Center of the Plate: Seafood & Vegetarian Consumer Trend Report
- Three-quarters of consumers eat seafood at home or away from home at least once a month, and 46% have it at least weekly, according to Technomic
- 34% of consumers are looking to increase their seafood consumption: Datassential, November 2021
This is great news for restaurant operators, because it allows them to get creative with their menus – and make more of a profit by catering to their adventurous seafood diners. One-third of operators have reported that their seafood sales have increased in the past few years, which has helped them see more foot traffic and a spike in overall sales.
- Shrimp is a menu favorite that is loved or liked by 71% of diners, and was featured on over 62% of menus in 2021, according to Datassential
- Coho Salmon is a sustainably sourced alternative to the wild-caught variety. Salmon is still a top-trending fish, appearing on 43% of menus in 2021
- Crab is a well-known but widely underutilized option for menus – 61% of Americans like crab, and it’s incredibly versatile in a wide array of applications
TOP FLAVORS IN SEAFOOD DISHES
- Sambal, an Indonesian chili sauce, is the fastest-growing seafood flavor pairing, having grown 212% over the past four years in seafood applications on menus
- Chimichurri is also a top-trending seafood flavor, with 167% growth on menus over the past four years
- Tomato-based Romesco is a rising flavor in seafood as well, with 108% menu growth over the past four years
TOP SEAFOOD APPLICATIONS
- Waffles aren't just for syrup and fried chicken anymore. Savory waffles paired with seafood like shrimp and lobster have grown 53% on menus over the past four years
- Nachos featuring seafood like tuna, crab and scallops are also an up-and-coming seafood application, with 43% growth on menus over the past four years
- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches have also become trendy to pair with seafood like shrimp, crab and lobster. These seafood creations have grown 41% on menus over the last four years
SEAFOOD INVENTORY FLEXIBILITY
Seafood is a versatile product type that can help operations remain flexible during supply and labor challenges due to market conditions. If a disruption causes production or shipping delays for tilapia, for example, operators can easily adapt their menu using an alternative, such as cod, flounder or salmon. Whether it’s easily swapping out your go-to fish for fish tacos or a diner-favorite gumbo, being prepared for challenges by keeping your menu adaptable can help you catch more profits. Keep up with the latest market conditions for seafood in our Farmer's Report or by asking your US Foods® representative.
SUSTAINABILITY STILL MATTERS TO DINERS
Today, simply offering seafood is not enough for diners. Not only are they looking for more types of seafood, but they are also looking for menus that are more focused on sustainability. One of this year's top food trends is sustainably sourced seafood, which speaks to chefs and consumers aiming to make smarter seafood choices. From shrimp to salmon, diners want traceability and sustainable fishing methods that protect the environment. The US Foods Serve Good® program guides suppliers and restaurants alike through the process of how to meet the standards for social responsibility, food safety, animal welfare and traceability in the food supply chain. Get resources and tips to incorporate sustainable seafood into your menu in our Serve Good resource library here.