US seafood suppliers up their National Seafood Month game

Published on
October 5, 2021
hillips Foods is running a sweepstakes for consumers to win a year of free seafood for National Seafood Month.

U.S. restaurants, seafood suppliers, and organizations have launched marketing programs to boost seafood sales during National Seafood Month in October.

Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.-based seafood supplier and restaurant operator Phillips Foods is running a sweepstakes for consumers to win a year of free seafood. The contest, which Phillips has run for the past 10 years during National Seafood Month, runs through 31 October. The winner has their choice of prizes, which include a USD 50 (EUR 43) per month gift card for 12 months to participating Phillips Seafood restaurants, 60 manufacturer coupons, each valid for one free Phillips grocery product up to USD 10.00 (EUR 8.62), or a gift card for six alternating months to participating Phillips restaurants plus 30 manufacturer coupons.

“It’s a fun promotion that brings seafood lovers together from both sides of our business, our Maryland restaurants and our retail consumers,” Phillips Seafood Restaurants Marketing Manager Joanna Phillips told SeafoodSource. “Content-wise, the timing of the contest with National Seafood Month is perfect. It helps bridge the gap between the end of our busy summer season and the launch of our holiday season.”

Last year, the campaign generated over 8,000 new members for the company's marketing list, and "brought many new eyes to our restaurant and retail websites, to browse through our promotions, product info and recipes,” Phillips said.

“In past years, we’ve also used the contest as a good way to build our fan base on social media, so that we can market to them throughout the year with product information, recipe suggestions and restaurant events and promos.” 

The Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) is sponsoring a “Dine Out to Help Out Chicago" event with several upscale restaurants in Chicago, Illinois, from 18 to 31 October.

The wild Alaska pollock industry has been the beneficiary of record demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to its “strong placement in two channels that have experienced strong sales: the frozen food aisle in grocery and quick-service restaurants with drive-through capability,” GAPP CEO Craig Morris told SeafoodSource.

“Because of this, we want to give back by working to help our partners who have been the most negatively impacted by coming together to support sit-down restaurants in selected U.S. markets,” Morris said. GAPP recently held a similar campaign in Nashville, Tennessee.

Suppliers are donating wild Alaska pollock products to upscale restaurants to “allow them to serve delicious and creative dishes using a wild-caught, 100 percent domestically-produced sustainable and nutritious center of the plate seafood during this challenging time while helping to offset their input costs,” Morris said.

GAPP will also be providing marketing support to encourage diners to continue to celebrate in-person dining at participating restaurants. And GAPP is extending its back-to-school campaign, which started in September, to National Seafood Month. The campaign targets consumers such as busy parents on the go.

“This audience is in need of a healthy, convenient protein options like ours that is mild-tasting for their kids, exceptional from a nutritional and environmental standpoint, and also has recipe options that fit into their busy daily schedules,” Morris said.

GAPP’s social media recipe content includes American Seafoods Crispy Fish "In" Chips with a Twist, Louis Kemp Seafood Tortilla Wrap, and Aquamar Surimi Ceviche.

The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) is celebrating its second annual National Pescatarian Month this October, sponsored by its blog, Dish on Fish. National Pescatarian Month is designed to help keep seafood top-of-mind with consumers, encouraging them to enjoy fish-centric meals at least two or three times a week, either at home or when dining out as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, NFI said in a news release.

The initiative’s goal is to bolster the existing efforts of many retailers, foodservice operators, and brands that market under the National Seafood Month umbrella. 

With National Pescatarian Month, NFI celebrates those who have adopted a pescatarian diet, but also encourages everyone to make room in their diet for more seafood, according to NFI Senior Vice President Judy Dashiell.

“Pescatarians really didn’t have a public platform prior to NFI launching National Pescatarian Month,” Dashiell said. “National Pescatarian Month provides consumers with one more reason to seek out seafood at retail and in food service outlets all month long."

Seafood Nutrition Partnership is continuing its Eat Seafood America! program this month, encouraging consumers to eat seafood at least twice a week, and providing recipes and social media support.

The American Heart Association suggests eating at least two servings of seafood each week, which provides you with essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein. It's important to get the health benefits gained by eating seafood, yet only about 20 percent of Americans are hitting this goal,” SNP said in a press release.

Photo courtesy of Phillips Foods

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