Shrimp stars in Fourth of July promotions

Shrimp is once again the main player in holiday seafood promotions, as U.S. retailers gear up for the Fourth of July weekend. This year, a few supermarket chains are getting behind Florida shrimp to show their support for Gulf seafood during the oil spill.

Restaurant chains such as McCormick & Schmick's and Captain D's are also running unique marketing campaigns for the Fourth of July.

Publix Super Markets, Kroger's Atlanta-area stores and Central Market and H.E. Butt stores in Texas are all promoting Florida shrimp for the Fourth of July and throughout the summer to support Florida seafood. In partnership with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the supermarket chains are advertising Florida seafood products in newspaper circulars and in-store, using the "Fresh from Florida Seafood" and "Gulf Safe" logos.

Summer holidays are a great time to promote Florida seafood, as well as seafood for grilling, according to Publix spokesperson Maria Brous. The Lakeland, Fla.-based retailer expects to go through 130,000 pounds of large Florida shrimp at its more than 1,000 stores in the Southeast on the 4 and 22 July weekends.

Publix is retailing the shrimp for USD 7.99 a pound and shrimp skewers at 10 for USD 10. It's also advertising frozen tuna at USD 5.99 a pound, salmon at USD 8.99 and snow crab at USD 8.99 this weekend.

"Typically, around the U.S. holidays, we try to focus on our domestic products if possible," said Brous.

Publix is also marketing Florida grouper, yellowtail snapper, littleneck clams and mahimahi throughout July and August. "We are seeing increased sales of grouper that are driven by ad-hoc in-store specials," said Brous.

As part of the Florida seafood promotion, Kroger's Atlanta-area stores plan to move 50,000 pounds of shrimp on 7 and 15 July in more than 200 of its stores. Central Market/H.E.B. is marketing 14,000 pounds of Florida shrimp in eight Texas stores on 7 and 14 July.

Restaurant chains are also running unique seafood marketing campaigns for the Fourth of July. Portland, Ore.-based McCormick & Schmick's is offering a free movie pass to diners who purchase a dinner entrée from 2 to 5 July, while Captain D's is offering several specials for the holiday weekend, including a 10-piece fish or chicken platter for USD 9.99 each, a free Fish & Fries with the purchase of a full-priced beverage and a free kids meal with the purchase of any adult dinner platter.

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