CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI, May 19 /CNW/ - Canadian fresh blue cultured mussel
exports to the United States grew by 10 per cent in 2010. This figure
is based on import data recently provided by the United States National
Marine Fisheries Service, and lists Canadian mussels as the most
imported variety of mussels - overtaking New Zealand mussels for the
first time ever.
"Surpassing New Zealand in mussels exported to the U.S. market is an
important milestone for us," said Terry Ennis, President of the Mussel
Industry Council of North America. "For many years New Zealand has led
in sales, importing frozen cooked mussels on the half shell. What we're
seeing now is the market respond to our product that is eco-friendly
and available live and fresh all year round."
Canadian mussel exports to the U.S. were worth $27.4 million in 2010, up
from nearly $26.7 million in 2009. The figures from the U.S. indicate
Canada led mussel imports in 2010 with 47 per cent of the market
compared with 42 per cent for New Zealand. This is the first time the
value of Canadian mussels has exceeded those imported from New Zealand.
"We believe the significant growth of fresh Canadian mussel exports to
the U.S. is based on three main factors: the quality and appeal of
fresh live mussels, the recession, and increased marketing efforts,"
said Linda Duncan, executive director of the Mussel Industry Council.
Fresh Canadian mussels are exported to the U.S. during the entire year.
The quality of a fresh product that is available daily has led to
growth in consumer demand explains Duncan.
"Our mussels really are a better choice than the frozen product," said
Duncan. "Fresh mussels stand on their own with a wonderful taste that
consumers are enjoying at restaurants across the country and at home
where they are easy to prepare."
Fresh mussels provided a price point matched for the recession. When
compared to other seafood, both consumers and the restaurant industry
responded to the value proposition of fresh blue mussels.
"Finally, we can attribute rising exports to the U.S. to our marketing
efforts that promote health and sustainability messages," said Duncan.
"In the past year the Mussel Industry Council has exhibited at major
restaurant and consumer shows and held multiple online campaigns,
contests and recipe offers to encourage the consumption of these
About the Mussel Industry Council
The Mussel Industry Council of North America (MIC) is an association of
producers, processors and industry groups from Prince Edwards Island
and Nova Scotia dedicated to promoting fresh blue mussels in the United
States and Canada.
Established in 2009, MIC members joined forces to promote mussels in the
midst of growing demand for fresh blue cultured mussels in North
America. One of its central goals is education, and members strive to
provide an essential link between producers and consumers by spreading
the word on everything from mussel safety to nutrition and delicious
To discover more about mussels and the people who grow them, visit www.discovermussels.com.
SOURCE MUSSEL INDUSTRY COUNCIL
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