- Following a record harvest of 43 million salmon, retailers including H-E-B, New Seasons, QFC, Rosauers and Wegmans have reported sales increases of Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon this year, according to a press release from the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA).
- BBRSDA organized retailer-specific promotions to boost sales of the fresh sockeye salmon this summer, including in-store training, point-of-sale materials and additional digital marketing and promotions.
- Wegmans saw an increase of 18% in sockeye sales across its 99 locations, with individual locations reporting a sales lift of as much as 244% from last year. Rosauers, located in the Pacific Northwest, got an 80% lift in sales compared to last year.
This year’s catch of sockeye salmon was the second-largest season ever recorded, allowing BBRSDA to supply markets across the country with fresh salmon. BBRSDA’s accompanying marketing and promotions program was key to driving sales for grocers nationwide, helping to generate excitement among customers and keep fresh fish moving through seafood cases.
BBRSDA represents more than 1,800 fisherman working in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. The association says it is the most valuable wild salmon fishery in the world, and accounts for nearly half of the world’s sockeye salmon harvest. BBRSDA says it's committed to sustainable practices and protecting the habitat of the bay to make sure the quality of seafood remains high and the catches abundant.
New Seasons Market’s seafood category manager said in a statement that customers wait all year for sockeye salmon season, and line up early to watch the fish get cut and wrapped fresh. New Seasons has been offering its sockeye promotion since 2013, and has more than doubled its sales volume since then, according to the press release.
Retailers remain focused on sustainable seafood, and selling Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon aligns well with that effort. Aside from BBRSDA partners, Publix recently added new labels to its seafood section reflecting its compliance with standards from the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative. Roche Bros. posts a sheet every day with QR codes that customers can use to learn more about where their fish was caught.
According to the Food Marketing Institute’s Power of Seafood report released this year, only 21% of adults eat seafood twice a week. Less than 30% of seafood consumers consider themselves well-informed about seafood products and report wanting to learn more about how to cook seafood, what nutritional benefits it offers and different species and types. Programs like Bristol Bay’s are useful for retailers to make sure their employees are properly trained and can help customers purchase seafood with confidence.