According to Statista, about half of the United States' population shops for groceries online. Many of these individuals started this practice as a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike many other lockdown habits, however, shopping for food online looks like it's here to stay, and increased e-commerce demand for all foods has seen many mail-order food companies establish themselves in the market. Often, these services have a niche. Many opt to sell and deliver a specific type of food, with some companies specializing in seafood.
As a product type, seafood poses its own unique challenges. Some products, like bivalves, must be shipped while still alive. Others require specialist conditions to avoid spoiling or degrading. That being said, mail-order seafood companies benefit from having a huge market with many Americans, both landlocked and otherwise, hungry for a dependable source of high-quality seafood.
In an effort to determine which of the numerous mail-order seafood delivery services are doing the best job, we have studied a variety of reviews, taking into account the opinions of customers and professional critics alike. Further information regarding our methodology can be found below.
14. Vital Choice
Vital Choice is a mail-order seafood delivery service which offers products ranging from Chilean sea bass to salmon roe. The huge variety of seafood available on this site makes Vital Choice something of a one-stop shop for any American's seafood-related needs. Orders are completely customizable, and no membership fee or subscription is required, although box subscriptions are available.
Vital Choice was founded in 2001. For years, it was a popular mail-order seafood delivery service renowned for the quality of its products. However, the company was sold to 1-800-Flowers.com in 2021. According to reviews, the sale coincided with a dramatic drop in quality. As one customer highlighted on Trustpilot, "It is so sad to me that Vital Choice has sold out to a big corporate entity and is no longer the well run, small supplier of seafood that it used to be. We were regular customers. The quality is terrible and the customer service is even worse!"
Recent reviews are overwhelmingly negative on both Trustpilot and Yelp. They highlight everything from shoddy delivery practices to poor-quality seafood. As a result, we'd suggest opting for other mail-order seafood delivery companies.
13. Blue Circle Foods
Blue Circle Foods is a seafood company that prioritizes sustainability. Aquaculture Stewardship Council, Marine Stewardship Council, and Best Aquaculture Practice certifications all indicate that Blue Circle Foods is rearing and catching seafood in a manner that is not overly exploitative. Aside from sustainability, the company has also gained a reputation for producing innovative food products, including salmon sausages and salmon burgers. Products of this ilk have led some professional critics to suggest Blue Circle Foods as a great choice for those serving picky eaters.
Another positive of shopping with Blue Circle Foods is that every order is fully customizable, giving customers complete control over the products they choose. This is not the case for many other mail-order seafood companies.
Not all of Blue Circle Foods' reviews are positive, however. In fact, several reviews posted to Trustpilot boast a single star. These reviews highlight unenjoyable products which did not live up to Blue Circle Foods' reputation. Of course, every company receives a few negative reviews now and again. Unfortunately, Blue Circle Foods does not have enough positive reviews to offset the negative and therefore cannot rank higher on our list.
12. Honolulu Fish Company
Honolulu Fish Company is a mail-order seafood delivery service which specializes in sashimi-grade fish. The company sells over 30 varieties of Pacific fish, all of them hook-caught. Of these, more than 14 sashimi grade. Of course, fish of this quality does not come cheap. Prices are further exacerbated by the large quantities customers are forced to order. For example, 3 pounds is the smallest size of sashimi-grade salmon that's available on the website. This product is priced at $335.
At this price, expectations are high. Unfortunately, reviews indicate that these expectations are not always met. The company has received mixed reviews on Google, with several customers complaining of poor customer service and, occasionally, subpar fish. That being said, the positive reviews tend to be gushing, with customers lauding the quality and flavor of the fresh fish.
Of course, sashimi-grade fish is not what the average person orders with weeknight dinners in mind. Instead, Honolulu Fish Company's products are suited to special occasions. However, the company's inconsistent track record, especially when it comes to customer service, makes ordering from Honolulu Fish Company a gamble some potential customers may be loath to make.
11. Wild Alaskan Company
Wild Alaskan Company is a subscription-only mail-order seafood delivery company that offers customers a choice of three seafood boxes plus optional add-ons. The Wild Combo Box, the company's most popular option, contains a rotating array of salmon, cod, halibut, rockfish, and pollock. A pack of a dozen 6-ounce portions costs $145. Packs of 24 are priced at $267. All fish are individually portioned and vacuum-packed before shipping.
On Trustpilot, Wild Alaskan Company is well reviewed overall but has received a number of one-star reviews. Several of these focus on customers' inability to place a one-time order. More concerningly, some customers claim that the seafood's quality was greatly reduced in the third or fourth boxes they received when compared to the first ones. That being said, the majority of recent reviews are decidedly positive for reasons summarized by one Trustpilot review: "I cannot say enough about the quality of this company. Not only is the food always fresh but the customer service is the best I have ever seen. Fast delivery is also a plus."
10. Sitka Seafood Market
Sitka Seafood Market, previously known as Sitka Salmon Shares, offers customers the opportunity to enjoy a variety of seafood traceable to the port it was caught from. Sitka Seafood Market is diligent in ensuring that fish are only caught via low-impact harvesting methods in American fisheries. This makes Sitka Seafood Market a great choice for those looking to consume seafood in a responsible manner.
All seafood is sold in boxes, and individual filets or portions are not available to purchase. Some boxes feature a mixture of products, while others focus on one. All contain at least 4.5 pounds of seafood, meaning Sitka Seafood Market is not suited for those customers which are just looking for a filet here or there. Subscription options are also offered.
In terms of reviews, Sitka Seafood Market highlights many positive ones via its website. These generally praise the quality of the seafood and the effectiveness of the company's packaging and delivery systems. While reviewed positively in blogs and media outlets, other review sites including Yelp and Trustpilot contain few or no reviews. As a result, Sitka Seafood Market cannot rank higher on our list.
Sizzlefish is a mail-order seafood delivery service which stocks an exceptional variety of seafood ranging from Dungeness crabs to catfish. At Sizzlefish, customers can order as much or as little as they want; even single portions are available, making this site a great choice for people who are shopping for themselves. The company also sells a subscription box service which is fully customizable. This is a rarity in the mail-order seafood industry and is fully appreciated by customers, as highlighted by a review shared on the Sizzlefish website: "The variety and ability to switch up my subscription box selections is great as is the ability to change shipping dates. Customer service is unbelievably customer-oriented."
Other reviewers have noted that Sizzlefish does not prioritize traceability. What's more, it sells both farmed and wild-caught fish. These will undoubtedly be deal-breakers for some potential customers. However, reviews indicate that those who are unperturbed by these issues enjoy using Sizzlefish for its quality, convenience, and consistency.
8. Peter's Florida Seafood
Peter Jarvis, founder and CEO of Peter's Florida Seafood, has decades' worth of experience when it comes to supplying seafood. In previous years, he supplied prominent chefs such as Rick Bayless. These days, Jarvis focuses on home cooks, with Peter's Florida Seafood being directly aimed at serving them.
Reviews for Peter's Florida Seafood are overwhelmingly positive. Many celebrate the freshness of the seafood, all of which is hand-selected, processed, and shipped within a few hours of arrival. One review posted to Google summarized the opinions of many customers: "If you want really FRESH seafood, look no further than Peter's Florida Seafood! We order almost weekly and have tried just about everything they sell. As long as they are selling to the public, we will never buy from anyone else."
Peter's Florida Seafood also endears itself to customers by offering an impressive range of seafood, including mahi-mahi, black grouper, and whole octopus. Shipping is free for orders over $200, and there are no subscriptions or memberships to worry about. This, alongside reasonable pricing, make Peter's Florida Seafood a great choice for the average American. Only the relatively limited number or reviews the company has received stopped it from ranking higher on our list.
7. Riviera Seafood Club
Riviera Seafood Club offers fully customizable, one-off purchases and boasts an impressive range of seafood products, many of which are sashimi grade. While single filets are available to order, Riviera Seafood Club also offers a range of dinner packs such as the Oishi Sashimi Pack. These packs contain everything you need for a meal and serve up to eight people. The company stands out by also stocking a range of other useful ingredients like wasabi, sushi rice, and even wagyu beef.
Generally speaking, customers are impressed by the quality of products sold by Riviera Seafood Club, as the following review, posted to the company's website, highlights: "I tried Riviera seafood at a cooking class and the chef told us to give it a try. We were floored at the incredible quality of the fish. We got the sashimi pack, which had an excellent variety, and all of the fish tasted like it just came out of the water." After receiving hundreds of reviews on Judge.me, the company remains highly rated. A majority of reviewers gave it five stars, making Riviera Seafood Club one of the most respected mail-order seafood delivery services in America.
6. Real Oyster Cult
While many mail-order seafood delivery services on this list have gained acclaim due to the variety of seafood they offer, others specialize in only one type. This is the case for Real Oyster Cult, which has become known as one of the best mail-order oyster services in the United States. Customers with a membership get to choose how many oysters they want delivered each month. They also decide how many varieties they receive. Membership works on a subscription basis, although 20, 50, and 100 counts of various oysters are available to be purchased without a subscription.
Many details are provided for each oyster stocked on the website. These include what environmental factors influenced their flavor, where they were reared, and how they were farmed. This information, when coupled with the excellent quality of the oysters themselves, has endeared Real Oyster Cult to many customers. Every review for the Cult Monthly Membership on Real Oyster Cult's website boasts four or five stars.
Rave reviews aren't just limited to the company's website, as illustrated by the following review posted to Reddit: "First round was awesome. Got oysters from PEI and Freeport. I shucked the PEI ones tonight and they were super briny and delicious. High recommend. Came with gloves and an awesome shucking knife which was a nice touch." Critics from food media brands rate the service just as highly.
5. Fulton Fish Market
Located in New York City, Fulton Fish Market is a historic and well-loved location. The market first launched its e-commerce platform in 2017 and has rapidly expanded it. Today, the market will deliver to anywhere in the continental United States.
Fulton Fish Market probably stocks the widest variety of seafood of any service included on this list. Caviar, squid, and oysters can all be purchased in a variety of sizes alongside many other types of seafood. The choices don't stop there; customers can order seafood fresh, frozen, prepared, smoked, and even cooked. What's more, seafood is sourced from over 15 different countries. A great deal of information can be found about the origin and nature of each product that's ordered, pleasing customers who want to know as much as possible about what they are eating.
The market also sets itself apart by giving customers complete autonomy over how they order. Subscription boxes are fully customizable, as is the frequency of their delivery. One-off purchases are also encouraged, and single filets are available. Thanks to the autonomy customers wield, the thousands of reviews Fulton Fish Market has received on Trustpilot are overwhelmingly positive. Less than 10% are one- and two-star reviews.
4. Lobster Anywhere
Lobster Anywhere specializes in lobster and lobster products, although shrimp, scallops, and soups are also available. The company sources its lobsters from the cold waters off the coast of Maine. This environment ensures that the lobsters produce exceptional, firm meat. Aside from lobster tails and frozen lobster meat, Lobster Anywhere also delivers live lobsters to customers. The reviews of this product are overwhelmingly positive, with most being five stars.
The reviews of Lobster Anywhere in general are hugely positive. Several thousand reviews have been placed on the company's website, nearly all of which are four or five stars. Only a few negative reviews can be found across the internet, with several being found on Yelp. These reviews highlight some instances of poor customer service as well as the odd spoiled piece of lobster meat. That being said, these negative reviews form such a miniscule portion of the overall picture that we had to include Lobster Anywhere toward the top of our list.
3. Sea To Table
When shopping at Sea to Table, customers have two choices. They can either opt for a one-time purchase or subscribe to receive some of the company's various packs every four, six, or eight weeks. Regardless of which option is chosen, Sea to Table's product offering is more limited when compared to other brands like Vital Choice and tends toward packs and boxes instead of individual items. That being said, customers can customize their own box order.
In 2018, an article written by the Associated Press alleged that Sea to Table was mislabeling fish, limiting its traceability, and employing deceptive marketing practices. Several ex- employees of Sea to Table substantiated these accusations. Today, Sea to Table allays these fears by labeling each product with where and how the seafood was caught. What's more, the company now claims that all seafood is wild-caught from responsibly managed, American fisheries.
Overall, the reviews of Sea to Table are positive. Comments posted to both the company's website and Trustpilot indicate that the seafood is usually fresh and flavorful. They also suggest that, for the most part, Sea to Table's delivery process is quick and efficient, with the vast majority of orders arriving swiftly and in good condition. The brand also seems fairly reliable; more than 80% of the thousands of reviews it has received on Trustpilot are five stars.
2. Browne Trading Company
Browne Trading Company has been one of the premier American seafood suppliers for decades. This is down to the expertise of founder Rod Browne Mitchell, who has supplied and worked alongside culinary legends, including Jean Louis Palladin, Daniel Boulud, Eric Ripert, and Thomas Keller. For the home cook, Browne Trading Company provides an incredible opportunity to enjoy seafood of the most exquisite quality, as exemplified by the company's specialty, caviar. Offering everything from purebred beluga caviar, priced at $850 for 30 grams, to American hackleback caviar, which comes in at a much more affordable $48, Browne Trading Company proves this most exclusive of ingredients is, actually, suitable for everyone.
A vast array of fresh seafood is sold by Browne Trading Company. Shellfish, oysters, red snapper, and even percebes are sourced from fisheries around the world. What's more, the company boasts an on-site smokehouse, ensuring that the smoked products are just as exceptional as the fresh ones. For this reason, Browne Trading Company is one of the best choices for any home cook who wants seafood of the utmost quality.
Reviews of Browne Trading Company reflect the esteem which the company is held in. Reviews on Trustpilot are almost entirely positive and praise many aspects of the company, from the seafood's freshness to the brilliant customer service team. All of this suggests that, when it comes to mail-order seafood delivery services, it doesn't get much better than Browne Trading Company.
1. Wulf's Fish
Wulf's Fish is the mail-order seafood delivery service that tops our list thanks to its broad appeal. The company stocks an array of popular and hard-to-find seafood which can be bought via a one-time purchase. Wulf's Fish further endears itself to customers by allowing them to create fully customizable seafood subscriptions, giving them complete autonomy over their orders with minimal hassle.
Customers have responded emphatically to Wulf's Fish's e-commerce platform. More than 90% of the company's reviews on Trustpilot are five stars. This is due to Wulf's Fish's exceptional performance in every aspect of business, as the following Trustpilot review highlights: "The fish is delicious, they ship quickly, customer service is top notch, and the packaging is sustainable. It's great to have a freezer with the same fish offered at the top restaurants in NYC." As such a well-rounded mail-order seafood delivery service, it should come as no surprise to anyone that Wulf's Fish tops our list.
How We Chose And Ranked The Companies
We selected the companies on this list by examining reviews left by professional critics, amateur bloggers, and customers alike. When studying reviews, we took into account a company's overall rating as well as the ratings breakdown. We favored those that displayed a low percentage of one- and two-star reviews. The number of reviews also mattered; if a company only had around 100 reputable reviews, it could not rank toward the top of our list, even if all these reviews were exceptional. Finally, we checked if reviews were consistent across platforms. If a business had high Trustpilot review ratings but low ratings on Yelp, for example, its position in the article would suffer.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.