A year into new American ownership of Peter Pan Seafoods, the company has said that it’s looking forward to the upcoming Bristol Bay sockeye fishery, with capacity to handle as much as was harvested in 2021 and more.
“We are excited,” said John Hickman, vice president of operations for the seafood company. “The forecast (and harvest potential) are not all that different from last year. We’re looking forward to getting more fish. We have the capacity for what we caught last year and quite a few more,” he said.
A large portion of Peter Pan’s 2021 Bristol Bay catch went to domestic fresh markets, fillets as much as possible, fresh and flash frozen, and some H&G (headed and gutted), he said. Markets included smaller fish shops as well as supermarkets, and the company also said that it saw very good domestic and overseas markets for canned salmon.
New owners of Peter Pan Seafoods didn’t have a problem with the pandemic itself, Hickman said.
“Those who were vaccinate went right to processing facilities and those not vaccinated were isolated before they were brought in,” he said.
The cost of keeping employees safe during the pandemic topped over $7 million for 2021, none of it reimbursed with federal pandemic relief funds, he said.
Heading into its second year under new ownership, Peter Pan is constantly looking at new value-added products, said Ken Taylor, vice president of purchasing, sales and logistics.
The latest products include new frozen items, marinated Pacific cod, black cod and salmon, and
a Peter Pan brand portioned product for retail and supermarket stores, Taylor said, adding that similar products are ready for the food service industry, utilizing wild caught sockeye salmon, Pacific cod, halibut and black cod, plus Dungeness crab and a little golden king crab.
“We are selling all over North America, in all the major metropolitan cities and a few major cities in Canada. With the shortage of their supply there is good business in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. They all like seafood,” he said.
The company has a good working relationship with retail markets, Hickman said, explaining that club stores like to put seafood under their signature brand names, therefore some product isn’t on the shelves under the Peter Pan label.
Peter Pan Seafoods’ ownership group includes Rodger May of Northwest Fish; the Na’Nuk Investment Fund, LP, managed by McKinley Alaska Private Investments LLC, and McKinley Capital Management LLC; and the RRF Global Partners Fund, managed by RRG Capital Management LLC.