By James Wright, Senior Editor
Published on Tuesday, September 30, 2014
International Coffee Day (29 September) wasn’t truly necessary yesterday to inspire massive consumption of the world’s most beloved caffeinated beverage. The sun rising typically takes care of that.
Sadly, not every food or beverage enjoys such universal adoration (read: addiction) that established purveyors can simply give the stuff away to enthusiasts, hoping such a gesture will engender some brand loyalty. Take seafood, which has its own month (in the United States, at least) and is still plunging in popularity, based on a U.S. per-capita consumption rate showing a 13 percent decline over the past decade (16.6 pounds in 2004 to 14.4 pounds in 2013).
National Seafood Month — held in October, although there is evidence that some believe it is actually in June, which doesn’t help matters — should get more attention than it does. It’s surprising how little promotional activity is conducted at the onset of autumn each year, given how much people support such occasions. It should be the second coming of Lent for the seafood industry, but even folks in the seafood industry don’t know about it.
Here’s a sampling of what is happening: SeaPak Shrimp & Seafood Co. is promoting its “Shrimptacular” celebration for the third straight year, hoping to drive supermarket shoppers to the frozen-food aisle to select a box of Butterfly Shrimp or Clam Strips and also remind people about the importance of family meals.
The Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (GULF) program is teaming up with Louisiana Sea Grant and Whole Foods Market locations in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, La., USA, to drive awareness for the sea-to-table movement and the need for conserving marine resources.
The Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition is taking this time to promote its Gulf Seafood Finder smartphone app, which helps restaurant-goers find all the amazing places to find oysters, shrimp and blue crab.
Seafood 101 at Fisherman’s Terminal in Seattle is a great community idea that joins consumers and the industry, a month-long event that only helps to strengthen the hook-to-cook connection.
There should be countless examples of seafood promotions to mention in this space but unfortunately there aren’t. Whether it’s June or October or whether the aim is to promote one brand or the entire category, National Seafood Month (International? Why not?) is a marketing opportunity that should not be ignored. Just think how easy it is for supermarket shoppers to ignore the seafood counter.