Industry News | April 9, 2010

Clearwater Seafoods Revamps Web Site

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Clearwater Seafoods Limited Partnership announced today it has launched a more interactive and information-rich Web site.

All restaurant chefs and retail businesses looking for wild, natural, sustainable, reliable, food-safe seafood are encouraged to check out the new Web site.

"We think the new site more accurately reflects the exceptional value Clearwater offers to our customers around the world", says Rick Betz, Clearwater's executive vice president of sales and marketing.

" There aren't many companies that are vertically integrated from 'ocean to plate' like Clearwater," Betz says.

"In most of our species we own the quota, own and operate the vessels and plants, manage our customer deliveries, and employ our own global sales force. For our largely B2B, or 'business to business' customer base, this is extremely important as it provides them security and confidence in everything from continuity of supply to traceability. It means one contact, one point of entry. It means accountability. And that's the security customers are looking for - a 'direct source to the resource.'"

The new Web site tells the story of how owners Risley and MacDonald started the company (from the back of a pick up truck) in 1976 and provides information on the companies strong record and position on sustainability and innovation.

"There's a growing need to interact with customers and provide them with information," Betz says. "It isn't enough to sell them a product. For true customer relevance and customer sustainability today, you have to provide 'solutions.' For us, this means providing culinary and promotional support including menu solutions for how to add our products to their restaurants' menu."

In addition to interactive areas like 'Ask the Chef' where Clearwater's culinary consultant, Chef Stefan Czapalay, will respond to individuals posting questions, there is a Vessel Tracking section. This area shows, on a global map and in real time, Clearwater's fleet of 14 vessels along with sailing and landing dates.

Vice president of fleet operations, Mike Pittman, explains the rationale behind the Vessel Tracking tool this way, "We think it provides value in a couple of ways. First, for the families and loved ones of our crew, it provides a sense of connection. Remember some of these vessels are at sea for several weeks at a time.

"Secondly, it is a good reminder to our customers that we are vertically integrated. We own the vessels and we personally fish the product. We know what's available, how it's harvested, and the care and consideration regarding sustainability of the resource and ecosystem because we're doing it all ourselves."

In the past, a lot of buyers have been less aware of who is harvesting the product or how many hands the products they purchase have gone through," Betz says. "Today their diners or shoppers are asking questions. They want to know about the source of their food and the care taken during its harvest."

Web functionality and customers expectations have grown exponentially since Clearwater launched its first site more than 10 years ago.

"Access to information is key," Betz says. "Customers have an increasing appetite and expectation to get information quickly and easily via the internet. We believe they research and select the company they are going to do business with first, before they look for and select the actual product. In short, they are interested in a relationship, not merely a transaction."

Long time Clearwater customer and co-owner of The Palm Restaurants, Wally Ganzi, confirms this, saying, "Clearwater's team approach and professional support has helped us grow our business. (They) are exceptional in helping us provide our customers with a premium seafood product that is of superior quality and taste."

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