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With shrink once again ranking as the chief concern cited by supermarket seafood executive participants of our recently released 2009 Seafood Operations Review, the Juneau-based Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) is once again angling to make it easier for retailers to tackle the issue.
Right on time for Lent, grocers looking to promote the countless benefits of seafood needn’t stress over shrink, but should instead tap ASMI’s newly redesigned Cook It Frozen! promotional materials to attract and educate customers about the ease and convenience of preparing caught-in-the-wild seafood without thawing.
In step with recent Nielsen retail tracking data that finds sales of frozen, unbreaded seafood up by 13.5 percent in a recent 52-week period to $334 million (Seafood Trend Newsletter, 12/22/2008), promoting the timesaving benefits of heart-healthy frozen seafood is a bountiful opportunity for seafood-shrink-weary grocers.
“Frozen seafood has become a [requisite] freezer pantry item,” affirms Larry Andrews, ASMI’s retail marketing director. “It comes individually portioned so consumers can get a high-quality wild and natural product with no preplanning any night of the week.”
ASMI’s Cook It Frozen! techniques aim to educate consumers about cooking healthy seafood meals in as little as 15 minutes directly from the freezer — while the seafood is still frozen — so no preplanning or thawing is necessary. Individual frozen portions allow consumers to cook only what is needed for any given meal, with no waste. Due to advancements in freezing technology, Andrews adds, frozen Alaska seafood also retains all of the nutritional value of fresh seafood throughout its extended shelf life.
“We’re here as a resource for retailers looking to feature Cook It Frozen! promotions during Lent to draw extra attention to this growing category,” says Andrews, who urges retailers to order complimentary promotional materials like on-pack leaflets, posters, static clings and tear-off recipe pads. In-store training demonstration videos featuring Chef John Ash are also available in DVD or CD-ROM formats.
For more information, call 800-806-2497 or visit www.alaskaseafood.org.
Parting thought: In a sea of choices, retailers are fishing for easier solutions to help shoppers choose seafood. To wit: Jacksonville, Fla.-based Winn-Dixie Stores recently bowed a line of frozen seafood dinners under the Winn-Dixie Fisherman’s Wharf brand. Ready in 10 minutes, the dinners come in six varieties, including shrimp and sausage gumbo.
Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway also recently debuted a new frozen seafood line that includes shrimp, tilapia and halibut. Dubbed Waterfront Bistro, the chain at press time was promoting a duo from the new line, including a 12-ounce package of tilapia for $6.99 and halibut at $14.99, as well as Waterfront Bistro cocktail sauce.