Alternative Markets Types
Seafood alternative markets come in many forms. They can be used singly or in combination with one another and/or traditional markets. The requirements for each – the amount of time, resources and interactions with consumers, among other attributes – vary.
Below we define eight types of alternative markets, and provide links to more detailed descriptions of each, including benefits and challenges, key questions to consider, tips and resources. This information is based on various sources and insights provided by fishermen and buyers who have experience with alternative marketing. We also provide a comparative table – Alternative Markets at a Glance – to help identify differences among market types.
- Off-the-Boat/Over-the-Bank Sales: Sell your catch directly from your boat or a nearby riverbank.
- Fishermen's/Farmers' Markets: Sell your catch directly to consumers as part of an established community market.
- Community Supported Fisheries (CSFs): Sell your catch directly to consumers who buy a certain amount of seafood up front (‘subscriptions’ or ‘shares’), with deliveries to a predetermined location on a set schedule for a fixed period of time.
- Seafood Buying Clubs: Sell your catch directly to a coordinator of a food buying club.
- eMarkets (e.g., eLists, eServices, online sales): Sell your catch by communicating with or accepting direct orders from customers via electronic technologies.
- Restaurants or Retail Market Sales: Sell your catch directly to restaurants and retail markets.
- Institutional Sales (e.g., universities, hospitals, private and government organizations): Sell your catch directly to food service operators (businesses that will prepare and serve your product to consumers).
- Your Own Market or Restaurant (including Roadside Stands and Food Trucks): Sell your catch directly to consumers at a structure that you operate.