Northeast U.S. Seafood Exporters Harvest Opportunities at Global Seafood Shows

Take a look at this year's Seafood Expo North America and the Seafood Expo Global.

Two global seafood industry trade shows held each spring, Seafood Expo North America and Seafood Expo Global, bring an abundance of opportunities for seafood exporters to connect with existing international customers and build new business. Continuing a long tradition, Food Export-Northeast added value to seafood suppliers’ experiences at these shows and assisted them in gaining recognition from global buyers.

At Seafood Expo North America, held from March 10 to 12, 2024, in Boston, Food Export-Northeast sponsored 15 international buyers to attend one-on-one meetings with suppliers held the day before the show began. In these pre-scheduled meetings, suppliers were able to gain insights on potential new markets and initiate connections with new buyer contacts. Buyers expressed interest in over 25 different seafood products available from the Northeast and represented 13 different countries including: China, Dominican Republic, Germany, Hong Kong, Honduras, Italy, Malaysia, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

As a result of the one-on-one meetings, Northeast U.S. seafood suppliers reported over $8.4 million in export sales, 155 buyer-seller introductions, 44 new distributorships, and 10 first-time export sales to a market. One seafood exporter commented that there was “quite a diverse group of buyers. Appreciated meeting buyers from Taiwan, Thailand, and Malaysia.” Another commented that they had “many good meetings with high probability of sales this year.”

In addition to the one-on-one meetings with U.S. suppliers, Food Export-Northeast offers educational opportunities to the sponsored international seafood buyers to learn about Northeast U.S. seafood. This year’s activities included a tour of the Port of New Bedford, organized by the Massachusetts Export Center as well as an educational seminar on lobster products. One buyer participant remarked that he “had good meetings with the suppliers and definitely discussed products that can be reviewed for import to Korea.” Another mentioned that “really great opportunities opened for us, and I also learned a lot.”

Just weeks later, 12 seafood exporters and three nonprofit commercial fisheries research organizations joined Food Export-Northeast’s pavilion in Hall 5 of Seafood Expo Global from April 23 to 25, 2024, in Barcelona, Spain. The show organizer, Diversified Expositions, estimated that more than 35,000 seafood industry buyers and suppliers attended the show.

The Northeast U.S. suppliers in Food Export’s pavilion cited over $8.8 million in new actual sales and projected an additional $30.6 million sales resulting from the show. They also developed 24 new distributorships through their 154 new buyer introductions and four suppliers made a first-time sale to a new market.

Newly participating in Food Export-Northeast’s pavilion this year were three nonprofit research agencies: Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation of Kingston, R.I.; Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association of Brunswick, Maine; and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County Marine Program of Riverhead, N.Y. These partners were investigating the potential international market opportunities for products including scup, sand dabs, and minced spider crab meat. The Cornell Cooperative Extension representative who attended the show indicated that “… large exporters were interested in connecting “new species” with their buyers, for which Sea Robin piqued a “uniqueness” factor they were on the lookout for. Overall, much was learned, and new perspectives were gained.”

About Food Export USA–Northeast

With its extensive programs and educational offerings, Food Export USA–Northeast (Food Export-Northeast) is recognized as the preeminent expert and cost-effective resource for northeast seafood and agricultural suppliers looking to sell their products overseas. Founded in 1973, Food Export-Northeast is a non-profit organization that works collaboratively with its 10 member states’ agricultural promotion agencies from Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont, to facilitate trade between suppliers and worldwide importers and to promote the export of food, agricultural and seafood products from those states. The organization is funded through the Market Access Program (MAP), administered by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

Learn more about us and what we do for the Northeast seafood industry here. Contact us.