Grocer Raley’s launches marketing campaign focused on Bristol Bay, Alaska sockeye

Raley’s Supermarkets has introduced a multi-pronged marketing approach for Bristol Bay sockeye salmon that uses in-store branding, video, and social media to promote Alaska sockeye salmon.

According to the West Sacramento, California-based grocer, which operates 129 stores in the U.S. west, the program has bumped sales of sockeye from Bristol Bay up 35 percent from 2018.

The campaign, a partnership with the Bristol Bay Regional Development Association (BBRSDA), includes traditional monthly print ads and seafood events at stores, but also rests heavily on storytelling that seeks to bridge the gap between conscientious consumers and seafood producers. High-quality video and photo assets bring shoppers closer to the wilds of Bristol Bay, and to the fishermen who harvest salmon in the world’s most productive sockeye fishery.

Leaders from the California grocer even took a trip to western Alaska in June, meeting fishermen and strolling docks to get an up-close look at the origin of the supply chain. They filmed a video which was released this month in conjunction with National Seafood Month.

“Our customers share our values and are interested in learning about where their food comes from. This campaign offered them full transparency into Bristol Bay’s operations and a glimpse at how much care and concern Raley’s put into selecting the high-quality products in our stores,” Raley’s Director of Meat and Seafood Todd Allen said in a press release.

Raley’s executives educated their employees on what they learned and provided them with recipe cards, branded aprons, and ice signs.

“Because of the quality of their product and the responsible, sustainable way it is sourced, deciding to partner with Bristol Bay was an easy choice for Raley’s,” Allen added.

The sockeye in Bristol Bay are caught with gill-nets, typically by small, family-run operations. In recent years, the BBRSDA has worked hard with fishermen to improve the quality of catch, with campaigns to increase chilling of fish and improve handling. The push toward quality has opened the door for the fishery move away from canned salmon and toward more fillets. 

“Our fishermen and the salmon they catch are special. They both have an amazing story and it’s very exciting to celebrate this fishery’s unique abundance with engaged customers,” BBRSDA Executive Director Andy Wink said.   

Raley’s was also drawn to Bristol Bay’s reputation for being among the world’s most well-managed fisheries. In recent years, the fishery has bucked the trend of declining fish stocks, posting record-breaking numbers over the past few seasons, while stocks around the state have experienced downturns.

Photo courtesy of Raley's Supermarkets


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