Natural and Wild Caught

Better Fish To Fry

Keyport Seafood was started by the Pedersen family in 1997 as a wholesaling operation. They distributed King Crab, Snow Crab, and Dungeness Crab to restaurants and select grocers. As their business grew, Keyport developed new fisheries and scaled production into Alaska, Norway and Russia. With processing facilities in the United States and Norway, Keyport had the capabilities of a multi-national company and they were able to create product lines and offer specialty branded products.

When Senior Birch Consultant, Kelly Pensell, first engaged with Keyport, their goal was to establish a recognizable, distinctive brand that would stand out among wholesalers. They knew that if they were able to elevate the perceived value of the company’s products, it would sell well in a price-driven commodity market. The initial project included marketing materials for fish and shellfish, a company logo, and packaging design for wholesale boxes. After experiencing success and expanding the product line in the wholesale category, Keyport set their sights on retail and direct-to-consumer.


Keyport propelled their business vision forward using the Birch Growth Framework.

PLAN – Batter Up

Pensell’s team drove a review of the company’s brand, performing a competitive analysis and an evaluation of sales channels. The review process culminated with a detailed plan. Keyport would test the market with a small e-commerce website where they would sell their best-selling products through a warehouse chain and add a new line of simple heat and serve products targeting the consumer market.

BUILD – Tools of the Trade

In order to scale, Keyport invested in foundational programs, processes and tools. Pensell’s team built on the existing brand foundation and designed a scalable retail packaging design that was adaptable to a wide spectrum of frozen seafood fish and shellfish species and associated form factors. Their goal was visibility in the freezer case, differentiation from existing brands, and a brand equated with quality. Pensell’s team shot proprietary photography and used it to develop packaging and supporting marketing and sales materials. Now Keyport was more than just fish.

SCALE – Steeped in Growth

Keyport’s successes with consumer products positioned them to expand further. With their foundations established, they were able to focus on growth. Pensell’s team updated the website which now sold a broad portfolio of crab, fish and heat & serve products and showcased Keyport’s retail and wholesale offerings.

RESULTS – Icing on the Cake

At every new phase, Keyport partnered with Pensell’s team to facilitate their growth. Keyport experienced growth and brand recognition, fully leveraging the brand platform and the cost-effective approach to packaging developed by Pensell’s team. Today, Keyport offers products in over 8 categories.