The Value of National Seafood Month


Steven Hedlund

Published on
November 2, 2008

October was National Seafood Month. It was also National Roller Skating Month, National Stamp Collecting Month, National Car Care Month, National Toilet Tank Repair Month and National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Month. Attempting to tally the number of causes observed in October can induce a headache (National Headache Awareness Month is June, by the way).

Retailers and foodservice operators who touted National Seafood Month are tallying today how the promotion worked for their business. October was declared National Seafood Month in 1958 to give them a reason to promote seafood in the fall, when sales are typically lackluster. McCormick & Schmick's celebrated National Seafood Month this year by donating a portion of its sales to the American Heart Association, committing to a minimum $25,000 donation.

For the National Fisheries Institute, National Seafood Month this year served as an opportunity to "educate the educators," says spokesman Gavin Gibbons.

NFI sponsored the Tufts University Friedman School Symposium: Nutrition Agenda 2008 & Beyond in Boston from Sept. 24 to 26 and exhibited at the American Dietetic Association's 2008 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo in Chicago from Oct. 25 to 28.

NFI staff informed dieticians and nutritionists of the latest studies touting the healthful benefits of eating seafood regularly, including a 2008 study from Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a Harvard University assistant professor of epidemiology, which said consumption of oily fish like salmon is a first-line treatment for heart patients.

There may be an inordinate number of causes observed in October, or any month, for that matter. But don't let this stop you in the future from promoting seafood in October to bridge the sales gap between the summer tourism and winter holiday seasons.

In today's uneasy economic climate, consumers need a push. Retailers and foodservice operators would be wise to capitalize on National Seafood Month or any excuse they can find to promote seafood.

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