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US retailers bet big on Bristol Bay sockeye in 2018

The red-hued wild salmon from Alaska was promoted in over 1,000 stores across the country in 2018.

Bristol Bay sockeye salmon is making its provenance story known across US retailers, and 2018 saw a big jump in its marketing efforts, thanks to a wide-scale seafood branding program.

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The marketing program capitalizes on the theme of "wild taste from an amazing place," highlighted against a backdrop of photos of the region and the fishermen who bring in the harvest each year.

The brand was promoted in over 1,000 stores in 2018. This promotion was developed by the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA) and launched in 2017.

Pavilions supermarket in southern California promoted Bristol Bay sockeye salmon during October, which was the national seafood month, to great success, with sales increasing by 81 percent over refreshed sockeye sales for the same period in 2017.

Bristol Bay sockeye salmon transaction counts, within the service seafood category, represented 3 percent of the overall service seafood transaction for the month, which is significant for a new item that was introduced while fresh salmon was still an available option to the consumer.

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Mark Angulo, Pavilions meat and seafood sales manager, said in a press release his group was "extremely pleased" with the results of the promotion.

In the Pacific Northwest, customers were told the story of Bristol Bay sockeye salmon at product sampling demos at select Quality Food Center (QFC) stores across the region. All 63 QFC stores promoted Bristol Bay sockeye salmon both during the summer fresh season and in November.

In December, Midwest retailer Hy-Vee promoted Bristol Bay sockeye salmon with product demos and point-of-sale materials in over 200 stores. Two social media ads were developed featuring Bristol Bay photography and video assets with custom animation and Hy-Vee branding.

The ads targeted over 67,000 seafood consumers in Hy-Vee’s major markets. Also, Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishermen visited area stores to further promote the Bristol Bay fishery.

Jason Pride, vice president of meat and seafood for Hy-Vee, said his group was "very pleased" with its December event and the product's performance over past several months.

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