Seafood Expo North America 2017
By Christine Blank, Contributing Editor
Published on Sunday, March 19, 2017
Rouses Supermarkets, a chain of 54 stores based in Thibodaux, Louisiana, is both expanding its stores and its value-added seafood offerings.
“Our biggest focus is on foodservice. Value-added items are roughly five percent of our total meat and seafood business, and we continue to see them grow,” James Breuhl, vice president of perishables for Rouses, told SeafoodSource at Seafood Expo North America in Boston, Massachusetts, on Sunday, 19 March.
Breuhl and Joe McClure, the new director of meat and seafood at Rouses, are seeking new value-added offerings at SENA. Suppliers are stepping up to meet this demand, they noted, with products such as seafood taco kits and fried oysters poppers.
At the beginning of March, Rouse’s added a “$5 Meal Deal”, which features a different meal each weekday for USD 5.00 (EUR 4.65). On Tuesdays, the meal deal is sushi rolls.
“Launched two weeks ago, we doubled sales the second week,” Breuhl said.
The retailer has also had success with cook-in-the-bag seafood meals, and has offered fresh boiled shrimp and crawfish in all of its stores for years.
The retailer’s prepared foods growth mimics the chain’s overall growth. Last November, Rouse’s acquired LeBlanc’s Food Stores, a chain of nine stores in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area. Rouse’s is in the process of adding crawfish boiling equipment to all nine stores.
Many new executives have also come on board, including Steve Black, former president of Lucky’s Market, as president and COO. Breuhl, former director of meat and seafood, was promoted to vice president of perishables, as McClure was brought on to handle meat and seafood sourcing.