The littlest lobster lovers

Lobster always draws a crowd of curious customers
Annie Tselikis shows off a 10-lb lobster during her lobster talk at Red’s Best in the Boston Public Market

I have a confession. I did not like seafood when I was a kid. If it wasn’t tuna from a can, I was not going to eat it. And I was definitely not interested in lobster. Eventually, my pallet improved and I came around, but not until I was a young adult. So when I see children here in the United States who are curious and voracious seafood eaters. I spent the better part of the day today at Red’s Best in the Boston Public Market. My most curious customers were knee-high to the gunwale, which is to say, very young.

Commitment to sustainable seafood

Maine Coast supplies lobster to a number of amazing seafood distributors in New England. We respect Red’s Best’s sustainable seafood sourcing practices. Their principles support fishermen and fishing communities throughout New England. So when the Red’s Best team invited me to come to the Market and share my lobster knowledge with their customers, I was immediately interested.

This is an exciting time to be in the lobster business. Supply is at an all-time high, demand is strong, and the lobster fishery is one of the most sustainable in the world. The forefathers of this fishery had the wherewithal to think about future generations of fishermen the resource that they would need to survive. Of all of the seafood that you find at your local grocery store or fish market, lobster is typically the only one alive in a tank. Some people are attracted to this curiosity moving around, while others are overwhelmed by the idea of taking a lobster home and putting it in the pot.

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Seafood Nutrition Partnership image | Eat seafood 2x per week to improve heart health.

Marketing seafood to US consumers

Different cultures and regions of the world consume seafood in different ways. Seafood consumption in the United States is very low. Most Americans eat less than 14 pounds of seafood on average each year, while other western nations like France consume 74 lbs per year. The USDA suggests eating two, 8 oz portions of seafood each week. Groups like Seafood Nutrition Partnership are working to provide heathy seafood suggestions to consumers to improve heart health. At Maine Coast we are working to make lobster more accessible. We are providing information about product origin, harvest method, and sustainability. We offer cooking prep suggestions and recipes to take some of the challenge out of handling live lobster.

Next generation of seafoodies

While I was at Red’s Best, I was so impressed by the curious kids who asked questions about lobster. But even better, after learning about lobster, they went around the corner with their parents to buy seafood for the weekend. Many of children were on a first name basis with the Red’s employees behind the counter. And hand in hand with mom or dad, these pint-sized customers asked for halibut, salmon, or lobster rolls. Hopefully this desire for healthy, sustainable seafood will only grow with this next generation of seafoodies.

Annie Tselikis is Maine Coast’s marketing manager, a lifelong Mainer, and a lover of all things in and around the ocean. Email Annie here.