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October 5, 2023

Hannaford, GMRI team up to create seafood guide for New Mainers

Hannaford storefront against a blue sky Photo / Renee Cordes Hannaford Supermarkets operates more than 180 stores in the Northeast, including this one at 50 Cottage Road in South Portland.

Hannaford Supermarkets and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute have teamed up to help New Mainers learn about fresh seafood that's available locally.

The Gulf of Maine Seafood Guide is the result of collaboration that began when GMRI, Hannaford, Good Shepherd Food Bank and Portland Adult Education organized a focus group of immigrants from four continents. 

Around 90% of those who participated wanted to eat more seafood, the team found.

“We learned of the need for a guide or an orientation to the seafood that is available locally. The groups also helped us understand their preferences — the importance of affordability, frozen options and ways to better understand the fresh seafood offered locally,” said Nathan Jewell, a seafood merchandiser at Hannaford.

“Many benefits came from the work to develop the guide. We understand the needs of our customers and our communities better and we are seeing new potential for Gulf of Maine seafood.”

Jewell said in the press release that he had heard in several stores that immigrant customers were "confident cooks but couldn't relate to what they saw in the Northeast seafood cases." 

Aside from images of different fish and shellfish, the guide includes information such as health attributes of the food and cooking tips.

The guide was developed by GMRI and translated by the House of Languages in Portland.  It will be available in multiple languages, including Chinese, Arabis, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

It will also be available at seafood counters at all Hannaford locations and online.

“We know many members of local immigrant communities come from parts of the world that eat much more seafood than Americans do, and through this project, we learned more about their interest in local seafood,” said Kyle Foley, sustainable seafood director at GMRI.

“Developing this guide is an exciting step towards connecting local immigrant communities with our local seafood industry and the amazing range of fish, shellfish and sea vegetables we have in the Gulf of Maine.”

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