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BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Thanks to a new partnership between Wal-Mart Stores and Wild American Shrimp Inc., the world's largest retailer will exclusively carry Certified Wild American Shrimp at its nearly 300 seafood counters in three Gulf states.
In select stores throughout Alabama, Florida, and Texas, Wal-Mart's full-service seafood counters will feature five different American shrimp products that have been certified to meet high standards for uniformity of size, flavor, and texture. The campaign will be supported by in-store promotions. The stores will only carry Wild American Shrimp, according to the agreement.
All told, nearly 300 Wal-Mart seafood counters will participate in the rollout, the supplier of which is Penguin Frozen Foods, one of the nation's largest suppliers of premium domestic shrimp.
Wal-Mart has been featuring the certified fresh-frozen domestic shrimp from Penguin in nearly 900 locations nationwide since November 2005, but the new program represents a deeper commitment to U.S.-supplied product.
"Wal-Mart's decision to exclusively feature domestic wild-caught shrimp at seafood counters in three states will help sustain an important industry and traditional way of life in our country," said Mark Watters, director of retail operations for Penguin Frozen Foods. "Most consumers don't know that nearly 90 percent of shrimp consumed in the United States is imported, and that the vast majority is farm-raised and not harvested from the ocean. Wal-Mart is helping American shrimpers distinguish the fresh attributes of our premium product to consumers."
Eddie Gordon, executive director of Wild American Shrimp, Inc. (WASI), said: "Our certification guarantees to the consumer that our shrimp are wild harvested in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic and meet high standards of quality. The fresh flavor and crisp texture that is unique to shrimp harvested directly from nature cannot be matched. Consumers notice the quality and now they have a choice to find these certified shrimp at Wal-Mart."
The Wild American Certification Program - administered by WASI -- ensures that warm-water, wild caught shrimp from U.S. coastal waters meet a high standard of quality and consistency. Shrimp that meet these stringent standards are labeled with the distinctive Certified Wild American Shrimp logo. Participation in the certification program is available to harvesters, processors, distributors, retailers, grocers, and restaurateurs.