Project Description

An Analysis of North Carolina’s Seafood Industry: Market Readiness Assessment

Jessica Newsome/Spring 2014

This report assesses the market readiness and business fit between the NC Growing Together (NCGT) project partners and small and mid-scale North Carolina fishing operators (those with annual sales of < $1 million). The report provides an evaluation of small and mid-scale commercial fishermen’s ability to sell to the NCGT project partners and provides recommendations on how to alleviate barriers to selling through the project partners. Report insights were gathered from interviews conducted with the project partners and a sample of small and mid-scale North Carolina fishing operators. The collected information was used to assess market readiness and strategic fit between the two groups. Findings indicate a steep learning curve for small/mid-scale fishing operations but a greater likelihood of a strategic fit with a grocery partner. The pricing and vendor-setup requirements and associated costs to work with a broadline wholesaler are judged too great for smaller vendors. This report includes characterization of small/mid-scale suppliers and large-scale grocery and food service buyers, evaluation of the grocery and food service value chains, and analyses the potentials for a strategic fit between fisherman and these buyers.

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