Christine Blank

Contributing Editor

Christine Blank, a veteran freelance writer and editor, covers all aspects of the seafood industry, from fishing to processing to selling and serving the final product. When she is not writing for SeafoodSource, Christine gets to taste scrumptious seafood dishes at U.S. restaurants for her food and travel blog, Flavorful Excursions (www.flavorfulexcursions.net). Christine loves to eat seafood of any kind, but lobster, crab and crawfish are among her favorites. In addition to SeafoodSource.com and SeaFood Business, Christine’s articles have been published in hundreds of leading magazines and newspapers, such as The New York Times, USA Today and Associated Press.

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Published on
January 24, 2010

As U.S. drug chains continue to expand their food offerings, seafood sales continue to explode in their stores.

Drug chains such as Walgreens carry a variety of frozen seafood products and meals, along with some refrigerated seafood products and more canned seafood offerings.

Nationwide, sales figures reflect just that. Sales of packaged seafood products in drug stores increased from USD 69 million (EUR 48.7 million) in 2008 to USD 75 million (EUR

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Published on
January 18, 2010

Executives at Baltimore-based Phillips Foods and Seafood Restaurants understand the challenges of operating in today’s economy. That is why they are reducing labor, becoming more efficient and focusing on grassroots marketing efforts to build their business. In December, Phillips Seafood Restaurants launched a “Get Hooked” promotion that was so successful that the chain of seven company-owned restaurants and 10 franchised locations

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Published on
January 12, 2010

The bleak U.S. economy seemed to have little impact on Internet sales, including of sales of seafood gift baskets, during the 2009 holiday season.

In fact, digital marketing intelligence firm comScore in Reston, Va., reported that total Internet sales rose 4 percent to USD 29.1 billion (EUR 20.1 billion) for the November-December 2009 holiday season, compared to the 2008 holiday season. And Black Friday sales jumped 11 percent year-over-year,

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Published on
January 10, 2010

 Times were incredibly difficult for high-end restaurants in 2009, and no one knows that better than executives with The Oceanaire Seafood Room in Minneapolis. It was only six months ago that the 12-unit upscale seafood chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and closed four of its restaurants: Seattle, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Charlotte, N.C. Now, as the chain is about to emerge from bankruptcy, Wade Wiestling, VP of culinary

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Published on
January 3, 2010

As national convenience chains and regional supermarket chains plan expansions in 2010, seafood vendors are gaining new markets for their products.

7-Eleven, which licenses around 36,900 stores worldwide, is adding 20 new stores in Northern California in 2010 and around 30 additional stores in the area in 2011.

“We want to quickly identify new locations and take advantage of opportunities throughout the region,” said Dan Porter, 7-Eleven’s

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Published on
December 22, 2009

Highlighting luxurious but affordable seafood items such as American lobster is the theme for U.S. restaurants’ holiday seafood promotions this year.

“This season seems to be all about affordable luxuries, such as lobster in a rich sauce; comfort food dishes that feature shrimp, crab or lobster, and fillets of fish encrusted in flavorful cheeses, nuts or breading,” said Aaron Jourden, associate editor for Chicago foodservice research and

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Published on
December 21, 2009

Christmas is almost here, and supermarkets across the United States are promoting a number of seafood items to lure celebratory consumers.

LaBonne Market, a three-store operator in Woodbury, Conn., is featuring cooked and raw shrimp, stuffed shrimp, squid rings, 2.5-pound squid blocks and lobster tails during a four-week truckload sale.

“We break it the first weekend of December and run it right through New Year’s Eve,” said Ken De La Rosa,

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Published on
December 20, 2009

Despite consumers’ economic challenges over the past year, many have stuck with their organic food and beverage purchasing behaviors, according to a new report.

Chicago-based market research firm Mintel and SPINS, a natural products retail and consulting firm, found that nearly 40 percent of consumers have not changed their organic product purchasing habits due to the recession. In addition, refrigerated organic food and drink product sales

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Published on
December 17, 2009

More red snapper may find its way to market in 2010, as the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will recommend that the quota be increased from 5 million pounds to slightly more than 6.9 million pounds annually.

“Harvest levels were still a bit too high in 2008. However, scientific projections are promising for 2009, indicating that the stock may improve enough to support higher harvest levels,” said Dr. Bonnie Ponwith, science and

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Published on
December 17, 2009

Legendary National Football League coach Don Shula and his son, Dave Shula, recently opened their newest franchised restaurant, Shula’s 347 Grill, inside the Westin Lake Mary hotel in Lake Mary, Fla. The casual 347 Grill — the ninth to open under this concept — features specialty fish, gourmet salads, steaks and burgers. Based in Miami Lakes, Fla., Shula’s operates more than 30 locations in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and

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