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Chuck Anderson80x80Chuck Anderson has extensive retail seafood experience including Safeway seafood department manager, Director of Seafood for Giant Food Stores, VP of Seafood for Ahold USA, and Business Development Manager for HEB in Texas. Chuck is currently a leader with Sustainable Sea Products Inc., working with state of the art Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) systems for shrimp and other species.

Can we sell more fresh seafood using social media? Maybe our customers can sell it for us. Niche social media sharing sites are an up-and-coming trend. These are websites where people can share what they are doing or seeing with their friends or with specific audiences.  

We all know we can share a video, a photo or an article with friends using YouTube or Facebook. Now there are specific websites where you can share experiences or recommendations with specific user groups. You can use...

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December is one of the best months for retail seafood sales, but most retailers leave additional seafood sales on the table. Sales are obviously driven by Christmas and New Year’s demand. However, significant seafood sales occur all month long. Every weekend in December brings a slew of office Christmas parties and home parties for friends and family. Good planning and marketing by seafood managers can maximize sales and profits every weekend of the month.  

Retail counters should...

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Inflation has hit many food markets over the last few months. Most grain and protein commodities have increased vs. last year. Fuel prices are also up, affecting all food costs. Beef prices are up due to higher grain prices and the drought in Texas and Oklahoma. With many products in the supermarket, most customers just pay the higher price, which increases sales. Not so with seafood.

We all know that many seafood markets are up including crab, shrimp, scallops and more. But with the...

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There is no excuse for mislabeling fish. It is not that hard to find out which fish are which and to label seafood accurately.

The FDA Seafood List is a good tool for finding the correct names of fish to use for commercial and retail sales. I like that the regional/vernacular names are listed. It helps me figure out which species is which. As you read the fine print, it notes that the vernacular names are NOT acceptable names to be used in the marketplace. Some of the fish species have...

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Two separate reports about seafood mislabeling hit the news this week. Is this economic fraud? Is this clerical oversight? Is this due to the complexity of seafood nomenclature? Yes, Yes, and Yes.  

The Boston Globe DNA tested 187 samples from Massachusetts restaurants, supermarkets and fish markets; 48 percent of the fish tested were mislabeled. The majority of the mislabeling occurred at independent restaurants.   

Oceana DNA tested 88 samples from Boston Supermarkets...

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Wholesale farmed salmon costs have been falling for several months. The cost of farmed salmon is down about 15 percent from last year and off about 30 percent from the height of the market in May 2011. The number of salmon promotions at retail are up from last year, but the average retail price for the ad promotions is the same as last year at $7.99 a pound nationwide. Retailers are being accused of not passing on the lower cost of salmon to consumers and fattening their profit margins instead...

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Restaurants and retail markets struggle with inventory issues. Rough weather in many parts of the East caused on-hand cooler inventories to get backed up this week. Managing inventory is one of the most important jobs for a restauranteur or seafood manger, every week of the year.

Know what you have on hand at all times. Many managers have POS systems or other electronic systems that tracks inventory and sales at any given time. For seafood, I think it is important to get into the cooler...

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Live lobster prices are coming down as almost all of the catch is new shell or firm shell lobsters. There are a few true hard shell lobsters still coming from Canada, but most hard shell lobsters are selling for top dollar and being shipped to Asia. 

Lobsters are more active in summer when they eat more, shed their shells and grow. Lobsters back out of their old shell when they shed. The new shell is kind of like human skin when they first shed. At this point, the lobster sucks up water...

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Do you have to say no to selling select fish species to be more sustainable? The answer is no. Although, that seems to be the way to score points with those that track such things. I think it is better to work with those that are managing the fishery or farms than to stop selling a species altogether. As pointed out in several opinion pieces lately, some retailers have stopped carrying Patagonian toothfish, aka Chilean sea bass. What if everyone stopped carrying Patagonian toothfish altogether...

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The seafood business is very fluid and ever-changing. If you asked me last year what the big topic of discussion would be at this year’s Boston Seafood Show, I would have said the economy and sluggish foodservice seafood sales. If you asked me in July, I would have said the Gulf oil spill, and rebuilding consumer confidence. Good thing you didn’t ask me. 

The big talk on the show floor was about the tragedy in Japan. There was genuine empathy and concern for the...

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