U.S. Grocers Promote Shrimp, Oysters for Thanksgiving

Published on
November 18, 2008

While turkey takes the spotlight at Thanksgiving, several supermarket chains this holiday season are promoting seafood as side dishes and appetizers.

Hannaford Bros. of Scarborough, Maine, is highlighting scallops as a side dish for Thanksgiving dinner, along with oysters and shrimp platters.

"We generally don't see seafood breaking through as the main dish. But in every other aspect of eating during this holiday - preparation of the stuffing, side dishes and hors d'oeuvres - you'll find that lots of consumers hunger for seafood," says Michael Norton, spokesperson for Hannaford Bros. He expects shrimp, scallops and oysters to be among the chain's top sellers during Thanksgiving.

Because scallops are a popular side dish for special occasions in New England, Hannaford will discount the shellfish for $8.99 a pound starting next week.

Hannaford also ramped up its supply of oysters to meet the demand from shoppers who use the shellfish in stuffing.

Oyster stuffing is also a big hit in the South, where Rouse's, a 34-unit chain in Thibodaux, La., is promoting shucked oysters for $8.99 a pint through Nov. 19. With stores in and around New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Rouse's is promoting many other local seafood items for the holiday.

Rouse's is urging its shoppers to "Buy Local" Louisiana peeled shrimp at $5.49 a pound for 40/50s, and is selling extra large head-on 16/20sfor $3.99 a pound.

While many grocery chains are promoting shrimp and shrimp trays throughout the holidays, Whole Foods Market in Austin, Texas, has been one of the most vocal about promoting both wild and farmed shrimp. Launching its "Shrimpsgiving" promotion nationwide on Nov. 11, Whole Foods aims to "remind shoppers that shrimp can be a versatile, easy and inexpensive addition to holiday meals or appetizers," says David Pilat, global seafood coordinator for Whole Foods.

Meanwhile, Winn-Dixie in Jacksonville, Fla., is taking advantage of the bountiful Alaska snow crab season earlier this year. The retailer is selling its 56-ounce "Alaskan Snow Leg Party Platter," which includes a blend of surimi seafood and crabmeat, for $24.99 throughout the holiday season.

Contributing Editor

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