SeaFood Business

MAR 2014

SeaFood Business is the global trusted authority for seafood buyers and sellers. We are the seafood industry's leading trade magazine with more than 30 years of experience. Our coverage is based on the "business" of buying and selling seafood.

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What's in Store 40 SeaFood Business March 2014 Visit us online at Photos courtesy of Dorothy Lane Market Good Fridays BY CHRISTINE BLANK F or many seafood retailers, Lent is the golden season. It is the period of time — unof- cially starting with the Super Bowl and Valentine's Day and continuing through Easter — during which re- tailers record peak sales. In recent years, grocers and fsh markets have wisely upped their fresh and frozen pro- motions throughout the sea- son and added volume and variety to their fresh seafood departments. "For the past three to four years, we have seen double- digit increases in the seafood department during Lent," says James Breuhl, meat and seafood director for Tibodaux, La.-based Rous- es. "A lot of that is attributed to keeping it fresh: bringing new things to the table and not ofering the same old- same old every year." Te 44-store grocery chain steps up its in-store seafood-boil events during Lent and introduces new frozen fsh lines, dips and prepared seafood items. "We also promote more with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and change up our fresh selection to add more from around the country and around the world," Breuhl says. Dayton, Ohio-based Dorothy Lane Market also holds special events during Lent. One of its most popu- lar promotions is held every Friday, when sales associates grill crab cake sandwiches to order for shoppers at its three stores. Te company also runs special three-day sales on fresh seafood that is in sea- son. "If we can get an amaz- ing price on something like steelhead, we feature it as one of our 'red board' sales, a big chalkboard sign outside the stores. Tat item is pro- moted on our Facebook page and through emails. People fock in over that," says Kim Swing, seafood manager for Dorothy Lane's Washington Square store in Dayton. Te increased focus on unique items and promot- ing popular seafood at a discount is paying of for grocers around the United States. Millions of Catho- lics celebrate Lent, eating seafood on Friday and other days from March 5 through April 17. Tere are 75 mil- lion Catholics in the United States and 41 percent at- tend church services at least weekly, according to Pew Research Center. Tis bodes well for sea- food sales: Te number of people forgoing meat on Fridays rose 20 percent from 2011 to 2013, according to a survey by online food order- ing service GrubHub. "Te Catholic faith here [in Louisiana] is huge, and that brings in a lot of cus- tomers. We see a 20 percent increase in seafood sales compared to rest of the year," Breuhl says. Lent also hap- pens to coincide with the fresh crawfsh season in Lou- isiana, which allows Rouses to step up promotions of live and cooked crawfsh. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during Lent, Rouses Grilled halibut with mango salsa is an eye-catching dish for retailers to feature. Lent promotions provide crucial bump for retailers' seafood departments Jack Gridley (right) of Dorothy Lane Market often visits his suppliers. 40_41WhatsInStore.indd 40 2/19/14 1:02 PM

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