Fishpeople’s dedication to seafood sustainability helps it net $12 million

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Fishpeople’s dedication to sustainability helps it net $12 million

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An investment of $12 million into Portland, OR-based Fishpeople Seafood is a “huge vote of confidence that we’re on to something” with the company’s focus on transparency into how fish is caught, processed and prepared, according to the firm’s CEO.

“Our commitment to relentless transparency has been a cornerstone to our business since its founding – it’s part of our DNA,”​ Ken Plasse explained to FoodNavigator-USA after closing the Series B financing round led by Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners and supported by 3x5 Partners, S2G Ventures, Encourage Capital, Blueberry Ventures and Collaborative Fund.

“We know today’s consumer is asking tough questions and cares deeply about the who, what, where, when and how behind their food – and we are building a business that will bring those facts to life.”

He explained the funding, which is part of a series B financing round led by Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners, will help the company continue to raise the transparency bar in the seafood industry and expand its business.

“The funds will be used to help us scale our existing business operations, invest in new product lines, build brand awareness and expand our species portfolio to fuel our future growth,”​ he said.

Specifically, in terms of product development, Plasse said the company will continue to expand distribution of its new line of Wildly Delicious Seafood Kits in natural, conventional and mass channels. The funding also will “drive considerable new distribution of our new next generation ‘for chefs’ line of sustainable branded fillets and portions,”​ he added.

Plasse says many of its new product ideas come from the office “fishbowl,”​ with “everyone, from finance to operations to marketing”​ playing a role in the innovation process. He said one way the company encourages innovation participation is to have a “best idea wins”​ philosophy.

Increasing brand awareness

The product and distribution expansion will be supported by a series of videos rolling out soon that will “’bring our traceability philosophy to life and drive consumers to,”​ where they can enter a code from their product package to learn more about the fishermen, catch methods and nutritional profile of the product, Plasse said.

“Additionally, we will continue to invest a lot of our energy in building our presence on social media and using it to meaningfully engage with our millennial-minded consumers of all ages,”​ Plasse said. He added, “We are particularly excited about an upcoming program with a like-minded partner of ours, Sun Basket, on World Ocean’s Day (June 8) giveaway which will leverage health, food, and lifestyle influencers to inspire involvement in helping to conserve this amazing resource we all depend on.”

Read more about Fishpeople Seafood HERE​.

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