U.S. retailers gear up for fall seafood sales

Fall is here, and supermarkets across the United States are using cooking classes, demonstrations and discounts to push seafood sales this fall.

A Giant Eagle Market District store in Pittsburgh, for instance, is holding a series of classes that demonstrate seafood preparation techniques to consumers. In late September, the 150,000-square-foot store is offering a sushi-making class and a Chinese food class, which includes a shrimp dish. Cooking class fees range from USD 20 to USD 55 each.

Market District is also holding a variety of seafood classes in October, including: 1-2-3 Clams and Oysters, Eat It With Street: Seafood and Mastering Lobster. In the Eat It With Street class, Market District’s chef shows shoppers how to make elegant seafood dishes with flair and ease. Recipes include Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms, Shrimp and Broccoli Cream Sauce over Noodles and Broiled Stuffed Lobster Tail.

Market District’s cooking classes tie into Giant Eagle’s promotional efforts for National Seafood Month in October.

“We will be featuring Alaska seafood because of the quality and sustainability of the product, as well as the wonderful support we receive from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. We will also be conducting in-store demonstrations to highlight these items,” said Daniel Donovan, spokesperson for Giant Eagle.

Meanwhile, Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets is using cooking demonstrations and discounts on specific species to boost seafood sales this fall. Publix will feature tilapia in October as part of its Aprons Simple Meals program, in which Publix representatives demo a weekly meal in its stores.

“Tilapia will be in our Apron’s event and will be on sale,” said Maria Brous, a spokesperson for Publix.

Publix often focuses its Aprons’ cooking events around seafood, according to Brous, because “the No. 1 reason consumers do not eat seafood is because they do not know how to cook it.”

During the week of 20 September, Publix featured its private-label frozen sockeye salmon.

“This promotion was scheduled to coincide with Frozen Food Month … and will be part of a product promotion effort surrounding our private-label frozen seafood line. The recipe will feature the ‘cooking-it-frozen’ technique that makes cooking frozen seafood more simple as you do not have to thaw the product,” said Brous.

For September and October, Publix is also promoting “last of the season” fresh coho salmon and “buy one, get one free” shrimp rings as part of its Ultimate Tailgate Event.

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