Across the U.S., grocery and seafood retailers utilized new marketing tactics in 2019 to substantially grow sales of Bristol Bay sockeye salmon. New marketing and promotional efforts led by the fishermen-funded Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA) have proven to lift sales for participating retailers, often doubling, or more the sales of sockeye salmon.
Newly structured sales incentive programs, in-store demos, staff training and assets for both digital and point-of-sale materials have proven to be a winning combination for retailers and customers.
“Our experience with Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon promotions have been overwhelmingly positive, and we have gotten tremendous response from our customers,” said Paul McLean, Earth Fare’s senior director of fresh, meat and seafood. “We more than doubled our sockeye sales compared to the previous sales periods, and we are eager to provide our shoppers with this quality product in the new year.”
Bristol Bay’s retail promotion program began in 2016, and experienced substantial growth in 2019, with 14 major retail chains participating in promotions in nearly 1,000 store locations across the country. In 2019 participating retailers included Costco, Earth Fare, H-E-B, Harris Teeter, Market Basket, New Seasons Market, QFC, Raley’s, Rouses, Rosauers and Wegmans. A 34 percent average sales lift from participating retailers has demonstrated the program’s effectiveness across market demographics.
“We are really excited about the success of the retail marketing program so far,” said BBRSDA Executive Director Andy Wink. “We are helping Bristol Bay sockeye become a household name, which is long overdue considering it’s the most abundant wild salmon fishery on the planet. We’re looking to expand our program in 2020 with new retail partners and are really excited about taking promotions with existing partners to new heights.”
Bristol Bay’s abundant harvest season in June and July yielded more than 43 million sockeye salmon in 2019, providing retailers a year-round supply of increasingly high quality frozen sockeye salmon. BBRSDA promotional efforts include funding sales contests, targeted digital advertising, in-store cooking demonstrations and more, allowing retailers an à la carte style menu of options to tailor efforts to their unique market’s customers. High quality imagery, video and point-of-sale materials bolster all promotional activities and make Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon stand out in stores and at seafood counters. Seven major grocers including Wegmans, Rosauers, Rouses, H-E-B, HyVee, Harris Teeter and ShopRite have committed to promotions in 2020, signaling an early indication of the program’s growth in the coming year.
The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association is a fishermen-funded group with a mission to increase the value of the Bristol Bay fishery through education, quality outreach and marketing.