You can have the best seafood selection in town, but if you don’t display it properly, customers will pass it by. Use these tips and a little effort can go a long way toward creating attractive seafood displays that will help generate impulse sales and create a good impression of “freshness and quantity” that will benefit the entire store. Merchandising is more of an art than science so have fun and get creative!
Seafood Display Case Ideas:
Tip #1 – Keep it colorful! Alternating fish species by color will create an eye catching display. For example, display tilapia fillets, next to salmon, then cod fillets. Don’t put three white fish next to each other. You can also shake it up by intermingling fish species. For example lobster next to fillets, next to shrimp, and so on. Another way to pump up the color is to use fruits and vegetables in your display to give bright pops of color. Use lemons, blood oranges, red onions, parsley, and kale to separate species or divide a row that has two kinds of seafood. To give your seafood display a tropical, beachy feel you need to bust out some tropical trees! To make your trees, slice off the top of a pineapple or use a carrot as the trunk and jagged cut red or green pepper for the tree top. Here are some links that show how to cut the veggies to create a tropical flare:
Whether you store is landlocked or you’re stuck in the middle of winter, your customers will be ready to hit the beach and cook some seafood for dinner!
Tip #2 – Variety is the spice of life. If you have tilapia fillets next to mahi mahi fillets, display one fillet vertically and the other one horizontally to add more variety to your seafood case display. Varying the height of different items can also add variety to seafood display. Another way to add variety is to vary the height and display as you see here with the Island of whole tilapia. Get creative, break some rules and have fun! But also be sure not to cross contaminate putting raw product next to cooked.
Tip #3 – Don’t overlook the importance of proper display case lights! Better visibility will accentuate the rich colors of seafood rather than detract from it. Definitely consider investing in LED (light-emitting diode) lighting. LED lighting offers direct light beams that focus on the product and have a dramatic impact on your seafood merchandising. Although LED display case lights cost more initially they will save you money in the long run since they use 25%–30% of the energy and last 8 to 25 times longer than halogen incandescent lights. This is definitely worth the investment and Promolux (http://www.promolux.com/applications/fresh-food-merchandising/seafood/) is a great company to consider finding superior products. According to Promolux, “Using improper lighting causes the natural fats found in seafood to prematurely oxidize, contributing to the ‘fishy’ smell that turns away customers.” Some of their Safe Spectrum© technology products have “proved to be safer for seafood display: protecting natural colors against photo oxidation, preserving the taste by reducing lipid oxidation, and extending shelf life through its balanced Safe Spectrum© technology.”
Tip #4 – Last and definitely not least, be sure to keep the product fresh in your seafood case. Pay attention to peak shopping times and freshen the product before your lunchtime and after work rush hours. In the morning you may want to only set up one or two deep and then before your busy times, add more to your seafood display. Don’t just load it up in the morning and leave it unattended to dry out all day. Here are some general fresh seafood tips that will appeal to your seafood savvy customers. Fillets and steaks should have firm, elastic flesh and a fresh-cut, moist appearance, with no browning around the edges. Whole fish should have bright, clear, full eyes that are often protruding and bright red or pink gills. The flesh should be firm yet elastic, springing back when pressed gently with the finger. Raw shrimp should be firm and the shells should have no blackened edges or black spots which is a sign of quality loss. The meat should be white with red or pink tints and tiger shrimp have bluish colored shells with black lines between the segments of the shell (these are not black spots).
In closing, these tips and a little effort can go a long way toward creating attractive seafood displays that will help generate impulse sales and create a good impression of “freshness” that will benefit your entire store. Harvest Food Distributors has a team of Field Marketing Representatives that can assist you with these efforts. Visit our website to see if we have a location near you and give us call!