SeaFood Business

MAY 2014

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What's in Store 26 SeaFood Business May 2014 Visit us online at www.seafoodbusiness.com The sustainability message is evident throughout the aisles at Food Lion stores. Photo courtesy of Food Lion Roaring back Food Lion expands seafood departments in overall turnaround effort BY CHRISTINE BLANK D elhaize America- owned Food Lion has not exactly been revered as a leader in fresh seafood retailing. Tradition- ally, the Salisbury, N.C.- based chain of 1,100 stores sported very small fresh sea- food sections and its frozen and canned seafood sets were limited. Te chain's overall neglect of its perishable cate- gories, along with other oper- ational issues, led Delhaize to shut down 113 underperform- ing Food Lion stores in 2012. However, the company is now banking on an ex- panded selection of fresh and frozen seafood as well as a new sustainability program to turn around sales and consumer perception. Tese upgraded seafood initiatives dovetail with the recent un- veiling of its new "easy, fresh and afordable" store format, which features smaller stores, everyday low pricing, "grab and go" foods, daily dinner deals and an expanded glu- ten-free foods section. To ft in with the new retailing philosophy, Food Lion doubled frozen seafood space in nearly 100 of its stores in early March. "We have used that space to add a variety of convenient meal solutions and expanded oferings in our current prod- uct categories," says Josanna Busby, Food Lion seafood category manager. "We be- lieve our expanded frozen assortment will be one area where our customers will experience more choices at purchasing those sustainable seafood products they want the most." Frozen seafood items added include meal solutions such as marinated salmon and gluten-free seafood, along with line extensions of popular products like mussels and clams. In the supermarket chain's fresh seafood department, Food Lion has added value- added seafood items, but has not increased space for fresh product. "We have doubled our [value-added] assortment with items like marinated salmon and tilapia. Custom- ers should expect more vari- ety as we continue to refne our sustainable seafood of- ferings," Busby says. While Food Lion has "There is a significant minority of shoppers who have adopted a lifestyle of health and sustainability. These consumers will make purchasing decisions based on their values." — Jim Hertel, managing partner, Willard Bishop Continued on page 32 focused on purchasing sustainable seafood since 2012, its new policy, also an- nounced in March, "helps us to hold our suppliers account- able for selling us only sustain- able seafood, so our customers can feel confdent they are purchasing quality products that will be around for genera- tions to come," Busby says. Similar to its sister chain, Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford Bros., Food Li- on's policy requires all of its fresh, frozen and canned sea- food suppliers to provide full traceability. Te wild seafood Food Lion purchases must come from fsheries that are "governed by credible, en- forceable and science-based management plans that re- spect the amount of harvest to ensure seafood populations will continue to be healthy in the future," according to a Food Lion statement. In addition, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute will confrm fsheries that supply Food Lion's seafood are responsibly managed. Plus, the new policy states that farmed seafood must be certifed and reviewed to "ensure that production does not harm communities, workers, the environment or human health," the state- ment says. Notably, Food Lion's sus- tainable seafood policy is more comprehensive than most U.S. supermarket chains policies because it "in- cludes all seafood products across the store in fresh, fro- zen and canned goods," Bus- by says. "It is the widest range of products among most U.S. grocery retailers. In addition to sustainability, all of Food Lion's seafood products are fully traceable from the port 26_WIS_28BTL_30SF_32Jump_36Networking.indd 26 4/16/14 8:23 AM

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