The Alaska Global Food Aid Program has begun a project to develop a food aid market for Alaska canned herring. With comparable levels of proteins and nearly twice the amount of omega-3’s, herring offers an exceptional alternative to canned keta and pink salmon in food aid. Increasing herring use also benefits many rural Alaskan communities where the species is abundant but underutilized. With increased nutrition demands in the international food aid programs and the finite supply of current shelf-stable Alaska seafood products, the Alaska Global Food Aid Program recognizes Alaska canned herring as a valuable and new product targeted to food assistance programs worldwide.
While our development is primarily focused on food aid, the products we work with span demand across all consumers. Most people in the U.S. are not familiar with herring, which is extremely rich in omega 3’s, yet it is popular and widely consumed in many other countries, from Scandinavian to African nations. Its appeal is growing in the U.S. This demand was evident when Seattle kicked off its first ever Herring Week in June 2015. The event was so successful and customer response so great that the limited product on hand flew off the shelves and ran out in restaurants before the end of the week.