Kenai Wild hits World Wide Web

Posted: Sunday, December 19, 2004

There's something wild on the Web these days —Kenai Wild, that is.

Officials with Cook Inlet Salmon Branding Inc., the Kenai Peninsula-based program created to promote, market and certify premium salmon from Cook Inlet, announced last week that its Web site is now equipped to handle salmon orders online.

"(Dec. 10) was the first day," CISB Executive Director Sylvia Beaudoin said in an interview Wednesday.

CISB's brand of salmon —known as "Kenai Wild" —is now just a mouse click away for anyone interested in picking up a few pieces of wild salmon for the holidays. Beaudoin said CISB offers overnight shipping through Federal Express, which means people on the East Coast can order their fish today and sit down to a meal of succulent red salmon the next evening.

Although the program has been up and running for less than a week, Beaudoin said she's already had orders for frozen fillets coming in from across the nation.

"We're getting a steady stream of inquiries and purchases from all over the country," she said.

Many salmon purchases come from the East Coast, and Beaudoin said CISB already has sold fish in Colorado, Lou-isiana, Minnesota and California.

"The demand for wild salmon seems to be far reaching," she said.

The Web site offers background on the Kenai Wild program, as well as recipes and information on the inlet fishers who harvest the salmon.

Although the online part of Kenai Wild sales is still a small part of CISB's program —the group has until now concentrated on selling to upscale restaurants and supermarkets —Beaudoin said having the site available can only help improve the brand's visibility.

"The vision is to be able to access as many markets as we can," she said.

So far, the newest addition to CISB's program appears to be paying dividends in the area of product recognition. Since the site began offering fish for sale online, Beaudoin said hits to the group's site have jumped substantially.

"We've had the biggest day since we opened, and that was 5,000 hits," she said.

Getting the site up and ready to ship fish was a bit of a challenge, she said, because of the logistics involved with enabling the site to handle all major credit cards and working with Fed Ex to coordinate shipping.

"It's a lot of pieces to put together," she said.

Now that the site is taking orders, however, she said she expects to see a steady increase in volume —especially after the holiday season, when more people will be trying to eat healthy as part of their New Year's resolutions.

"There's a bump in consumption of seafood after the new year," she said.

However, despite the healthy nature of its product, Beaudoin said she's hoping people who visit the site will be unable to resist the tempting pictures of fresh Alaska salmon hot off the grill.

"We want you hungry," she said.

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