“Consumers are becoming more aware
of how food can have a positive impact on
health,” says Emily Gisler, ASMI domestic
marketing coordinator. “They also look for
simple, whole food in its natural form.”
Chicago-based Technomic also found that
seafood consumers are composed of two
primary segments: the Originator and the
Optimizer. “Collectively, these two groups
account for over half of annual consumer sea-
food spend and are poised for growth in cate-
gory spend and purchasing power in years to
come,” Gisler says.
Adventurous, the Originator is trend-savvy
and quality-conscious. The Optimizer is
more value-driven and responds to messaging around variety, convenience and value.
“This [latter] group is brand-sticky, relying on
familiar labels to minimize time and effort in
the purchasing decision,” she says.
ASMI, which offers a variety of merchandising tools for retailers, as well as custom
promotions to help drive seafood trial and
purchase through in-store demos, signage
and digital coupon programs, has helped
Bellevue, Wash.-based Quality Food Centers
(QFC) conduct successful sockeye salmon
“Our recent Wild-Caught Alaska Bristol Bay Sockeye promotion was a benchmark for us to repeat in coming years,” says
Joshua Dooley, meat and seafood sales manager for QFC in Seattle. “Print ads, radio,
in-store point-of-sale [provided by Bristol
Bay Regional Seafood Development Author-ity], case clings and picks, a motivating sales
contest and in-store buy-in, were all crucial
pieces to its success,” he says.
QFC shoppers are wild about wild Alaska
sockeye and shrimp. “Wild-caught is the
most important selling attribute for our cus-
tomer base. Sustainability has been proven
to be more of an accepted norm in our fresh
business than a promoted attribute,” says
Dooley. QFC is also exploring fair-trade
sources of high-quality, flavorful and sustain-
able seafood, he says.
“Customers want to feel that their purchase not only does no harm to the ecosystem but that their food dollar is actually being
used to benefit fishing communities and promoting human welfare,” Dooley says.
In addition to seeking high-quality, flavorful and sustainably sourced seafood, QFC
customers are also looking for convenience
and simple meal ideas. “Our Easy for You program is by far our most popular value-added
program,” he says. With any seafood purchased from QFC’s fresh counters, customers
can choose from an a la carte menu of seasonings, fresh herbs, fresh lemon, garlic and
butter—all free of charge.
“Customers love it, as it is delivered in a
bag that can be easily grilled, baked or microwaved, depending on their bag of choice,”
Dooley says. “Cooking instructions with
times and appropriate temperatures are on
the bags, so it makes cooking easy.”
Customers want to feel that their purchase
not only does no harm to the ecosystem
but that their food dollar is actually being
used to benefit fishing communities and
promoting human welfare.” —Joshua Dooley, QFC The Power of Seafood The Seafood Nutrition Partnership
supported Arlington, Va.-based Food
Marketing Institute’s Inaugural Power
of Seafood report, the results of which
will be revealed March 27 via webinar.
Some key findings include:
Seafood consumers represent a
small but lucrative demographic
Seafood consumers tend not to shop
Seafood consumers do not feel
very knowledgeable about seafood,
and most want to become more
While use of and opinions about the
grocery store seafood counter are
mixed, shoppers do want one.
Nutrition and health are important in
Meat & Seafood Fresh Business