Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010 - (Page 52)

Frozen/Refrigerated Reel it In Fish sticks and fillets remain popular as new steam products and seafood prepared the “home-style” way crowd freezer door space. By D. Gail Fleenor eafood in the frozen department was poised for growth in 2008, but then the recession hit.While it appeared sales would be bubbling over in 2009, hopes were dashed as consumers shifted to cheaper protein sources.An array of new frozen seafood products may perk up category sales in the months to come, however, as consumer pocketbooks recover. New frozen seafood products may come and go, but Mike Sullivan, frozen food category manager for K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc., sees little change in category top sellers. “Fish sticks and fish fillets are our most popular from private label, Mrs. Paul’s and Gorton’s. Though there are multi[ple] forms, sizes and breading types, these two styles remain our top sellers.” Sullivan says his peak time for frozen seafood sales is Lent. “We also experience a nice sales increase once school gets back in session,” he notes. “Displays during these two periods are our highest frozen seafood sales periods.” K-VAT, d/b/a Food City, is headquartered in Abingdon, Va., and has over 100 stores in Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky. Low Tide? S Frozen fish sales saw the greatest sales increase from 2006 to 2008, according to Mintel, a Chicago-based research firm. After that period, private label began to swallow up sales. Private label and smaller manufacturers currently hold 83.5 percent of the market, Mintel says, with• Progressive Grocer • January/February 2010 TV chef Paula Deen has store brands grabbing the greatest sales debuted a line of frozen growth (7.3 percent). Sales for seafood and seafood that includes Homefish in the frozen category overall are flat. style Breaded Shrimp (above) Frozen seafood products are the most popand Savannah Crab Cakes. ular fish items, eaten by 66 percent of respondents in a Mintel survey. Consumers appreciate frozen packaging, which provides information on health benefits and product sourcing. Some smaller brands have seen growth due to the rising consumer interest in sustainable fishing. One example, Rich Products SeaPak Wild American Frozen Cooked Shrimp, was up 254 percent in 2008 over the previous year, according to Chicago-based Information Resources, Inc. SeaPak Shrimp Co., located on St. Simons Island, Ga., celebrated its 60th year in business in 2008. According to Bryan Jaynes, the company’s marketing director, the recession hasn’t hit frozen seafood sales that A H E A D O F W H AT ’ S N E X T

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010

Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010
Nielsen’s Shelf Stoppers/Spotlight
Progressive Grocer’s Outstanding Independents Awards: Independent Inspiration
Outstanding Regional Retailer: All Together Now
Outstanding Community-based Retailer: Sharing the Vision
Outstanding Independent Wholesaler:Values for Growth
Independents Report: A Lasting Legacy of Leadership and Inspiration
Fresh Perspectives: Spartan’s Fresh Outlook
Produce: Priced to Move
Refrigerated Meat: A Great (Meaty) Start
Frozen Seafood: Reel it In
Beverage Alcohol: Let it Pour
OTC Medications: Extended Flu Season
FutureTech: Going Mobile
Retail Profile: Food Lion: Renewed
GMA Director’s Note: Leading the Charge
Best Practices: A New Approach to Knowledge
Food Marketing Insights: Got Talent?
Upcoming Events: International Eats
What’s Next

Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010