U.S. seafood markets talk turkey for Thanksgiving week

Published on
November 23, 2016

United States supermarkets and fish markets are making the most of the Thanksgiving holiday – not only with sales of seafood but also with turkey and other meats.

“A couple of years ago, we looked at the fact that Thanksgiving is not as much of a seafood holiday, and asked, ‘How can we bring more people into the store?’ ” said Jessica Zabel, marketing director for Cod & Capers Seafood Marketplace and Café in North Palm Beach, Florida. Partnering with a poultry farm in Virginia, the store now brings in fresh, never-frozen hormone-free turkeys.

“We don’t mark them up our normal retail. We are not making a lot of money, but it helps get people in here,” Zabel said. “Customers are ordering more every year.”

Despite the growing popularity of turkey, Cod & Capers is also selling more seafood every year – particularly prepared seafood for entertaining.

“We sell a lot of cooked shrimp, stone crab claws, bacon-wrapped scallops (USD 3, EUR 2.84 each) and crab-stuffed mushrooms (USD 2.50, EUR 2.37 each) – a lot of things that people would prefer to eat before the meal,” Zabel said.

The market is selling the stone crab from Florida for USD 24.95 (EUR, 23.65) per pound during the week of Thanksgiving, while 16/20s steamed shrimp retail for USD 22.95 (EUR 21.75) per pound.

"We sell a lot of those. The steamed shrimp are peeled and deveined, farm-raised shrimp,” Zabel said.

The restaurant’s market also featured a special of one pound of stone crab claws, served with coleslaw and mustard sauce for USD 25.00 (EUR 23.70) the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

“We have Stone Crab Night every Wednesday…and the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, there are a lot of people in from out of town,” Zabel said.

Cooked shrimp and other seafood for entertaining are also on special at the three-store Dorothy Lane Market, headquartered in Dayton, Ohio.

“Shrimp is a great appetizer, as people often have visitors from out of town,” said Kim Swing, seafood manager at DLM’s Washington Square store.

DLM has also put bairdi crab legs on special for Thanksgiving week, for USD 14.99 (EUR 14.21) a pound, along with Icelandic cod loin, also for USD 14.99 per pound.

The DLM stores also see brisk oyster sales during Thanksgiving week.

“Oysters are a family tradition for so many. They do one of three things with them: make oyster dressing, scalloped oysters or oyster stew. This time of year, we carry a bigger oyster called a Count,” Swing said.

Every year, DLM managers see more shoppers “who only buy their seafood here,” Swing said. Then, after Thanksgiving, DLM will heavily promote salmon. “We sell a lot of salmon after Thanksgiving—after everyone has had their fill of heavy meals,” Swing said.

Contributing Editor



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