Lent still has strong impact on seafood sales
For many seafood retailers, Lent is the golden season. It is the period of time — unofficially starting with the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day and continuing through Easter — during which retailers record peak sales. In recent years, grocers and fish markets have wisely upped their fresh and frozen promotions throughout the season and added volume and variety to their fresh seafood departments.
“For the past three to four years, we have seen double-digit increases in the seafood department during Lent,” said James Breuhl, meat and seafood director for Thibodaux, La.-based Rouses. “A lot of that is attributed to keeping it fresh: bringing new things to the table and not offering the same old-same old every year.”
The 44-store grocery chain steps up its in-store seafood-boil events during Lent and introduces new frozen fish lines, dips and prepared seafood items. “We also promote more with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and change up our fresh selection to add more from around the country and around the world,” Breuhl said.
Dayton, Ohio-based Dorothy Lane Market also holds special events during Lent. One of its most popular promotions is held every Friday, when sales associates grill crab cake sandwiches to order for shoppers at its three stores.