Seafood Maker Joins Kroger Chains in Traceability Effort
Iceland-based supplier Niceland Seafood has partnered with distributor Seattle Fish Co. to bring full seafood traceability to shoppers at 65 King Soopers and City Market stores in the Denver, Colorado, area. The “sea to pan” information is accessible via on-pack QR codes.
Sea to pan traceability lets consumers follow the detailed journey of each fish, including the exact spot in the North Atlantic Ocean where the fish was caught, the name of the boat that reeled it in, the processing plant that filleted the fish, the flight details from Reykjavik to Denver, and the truck that delivered it to the store. The initiative involves cod, ocean perch and Arctic charr.
“Customers looking for a healthy meal care about the people and places behind their food,” said Oliver Luckett, chairman of Niceland Seafood. “Niceland is bringing together technology, traceability and a direct relationship between U.S. customers and Icelandic Seafood for the first time.”
"Iceland is a global leader when it comes to sustainable fishing, issuing annual catch limitation quotas that prevent overfishing and keep marine life healthy and balanced," added Heida Helgadottir, Niceland’s chief executive officer. “High-tech processing machinery deployed around the country ensures up to 80% of the catch is put to use. It is one of the most sustainable fishing industries worldwide.”
Niceland’s technology streamlines what has traditionally been manual processes that often included handwritten notes, faxes and myriad phone calls. The result is a unique consumer experience.
"[We] know transparency drives customer connection and engagement,” said Derek Figueroa, president of Seattle Fish Company. “King Soopers and City Market are underscoring their commitment to provide important sourcing information and detail."
“Niceland offers state-of-the-art traceability as well as the sustainability and quality customers have come to expect,” said Ron Sparks, meat and seafood merchandiser for King Soopers and City Market, both of which are owned by supermarket giant Kroger. The chains are the first retailers in the U.S. to carry Niceland products.
Luckett and Helgadottir co-founded Niceland in June 2018. Luckett is the former head of innovation at The Walt Disney Company; Helgadottir is a well-known Icelandic political entrepreneur.
With many of today’s foods being sourced globally, traceability has become increasingly important. But just a handful of seafood companies are using technology to do it. Among them are Blue Star Foods, which introduced a “scan on demand” QR code traceability app for its seafood in March. The app provides sea-to-pan traceability for blue swimming crabs.