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Pacific News Minute: US demand for poke expected to increase 71% by 2026

ahi poke fish
Audrey McAvoy/AP
FILE - This Tuesday, April 16, 2019 photo shows Michele Miyanaga preparing cubes of raw ahi, or tuna, at Aloha Poke Shop, a store in Honolulu that received a letter from Chicago-based Aloha Poke Co. saying the Illinois company had trademarked "Aloha Poke" and the Hawaiʻi company would need to change its name. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)

The U.S. market for poke is expected to increase by more than $780 million between now and 2026, according to a recent market study.

The healthy Hawaiian dish has attracted a growing fan base, making it a favorite addition to the menus of restaurants around the world.

The market research company Technavio reports the demand for poke in the United States will increase 71% between now and 2026, upgrading the dish from trendy to mainstream.

In response, a number of poke restaurant chains have announced expansion plans.

SeafoodSource News reports Pokemoto plans to open more than 40 locations over the next year in 13 states, including New York, Kansas and Mississippi.

Aloha Poke Co. operates 19 locations in the Midwest, South, and Washington D.C. It’s developing 11 stores in Houston.

The company stirred up controversy in 2019 when it sent cease and desist letters to other poke shops, demanding the removal of the words ‘aloha’ and ‘aloha poke’ from their names.

Technavio says the health benefits of the seafood used in poke bowls are one likely reason behind the growth of the restaurant chains.

Derrick Malama is the local anchor of Morning Edition.
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