In honor of the Seafood Expo in Boston this month, we’ve decided to shine the spotlight on seafood departments. With more consumers seeking healthy dietary choices, fish and other seafood have become the go-to protein alternative to beef and chicken. Despite sales improvements in seafood departments just in the last couple years (Progressive Grocer reported that 39 percent of respondents said they experienced their seafood sales increase over 2016, and 56 percent expect sales to increase in 2017.), retailers still face several challenges when it comes to marketing and selling seafood. If retailers are willing to meet these challenges head on, they can be rewarded with a sea of opportunity. (Pardon the pun.)
Seafood Challenge #1: Food Safety
While it’s true that food safety comes from proper handling, seafood also requires the right storage conditions to keep it fresh and safe for consumers to purchase. Keeping fish and seafood at the right temperature can be a challenge for some retailers, especially since seafood tends to spoil more quickly than other fresh food product. Supermarkets absolutely need reliable refrigeration equipment—and maintain their seafood cases properly—in order to ensure adequate food safety of their fresh fish and seafood.
Borgen Systems’ seafood display case with DekFRESH technology™ was designed specifically with improving food safety in mind. The case boasts uniform cooling, so retailers never have to worry about “warm spots” in their refrigerated cases. Additionally, the seafood case with DekFRESH technology™ is incredibly easy to maintain. With no tank beneath the deck, cleaning the seafood case is a breeze—what you see is what you clean! No tank also means fewer places for food particles to get trapped and bacteria to grow. Maintaining proper food safety guidelines in the seafood department gets a whole lot easier with DekFRESH technology™.
Seafood Challenge #2: Shrink
Because seafood is prone to spoiling quickly, it is also a product that is susceptible to shrink. Given the prices retailers pay their suppliers for fish and seafood, finding ways to minimize shrink should be top of mind for seafood managers. Some shrink, of course, is inevitable, but the more fresh fish retailers can sell from the seafood case the better. Having the right seafood case in your store can sometimes be the difference between making a sale and throwing product away.
Borgen’s latest seafood case with DekFRESH technology™ actually helps minimize shrink. Retailers that have DekFRESH technology™ in their stores have reported an extended shelf life of up to two days longer than traditional refrigerated cases. Think of how much more seafood can be sold with up to two extra days! Our seafood case has a uniform cooling system that doesn’t dry out the product, so fish stays fresh and ready to sell to customers.
Seafood Challenge #3: Poor Customer Perception
Many customers just aren’t comfortable with seafood preparation. They may order fish, lobster, or scallops when they go to a restaurant, but when it comes to preparing seafood at home, a lot of shoppers don’t feel they have the proper knowledge to cook a tasty meal. This is where your stellar seafood department staff comes into play. Friendly, knowledgeable staff behind the counter can help educate customers and encourage them to try new meal ideas and make purchases that may have otherwise rested outside of their comfort zone.
The seafood case with DekFRESH technology™ is designed for both customers and employees. Low profiles and food prep stations allow better employee–customer interaction, so seafood staff can greet shoppers and educate them on proper seafood storage and preparation. Borgen’s refrigerated cases can also be easily customized or cross merchandised with other products, such as adding a lower shelf to allow customers to pick up the perfect wine pairing for their seafood meal.
The very nature of the seafood department presents legitimate challenges for retailers. Supermarkets need to equip themselves with the right tools in order to meet these challenges head on. Upgrading refrigeration equipment is one of the best ways for supermarkets to see a return on investment. Not only can you sell more product with updated seafood cases, but your equipment will be much more energy efficient, saving on energy costs. If you upgrade your seafood case with DekFRESH technology™, you’ll also save on labor since cleaning time is dramatically reduced.
If your supermarket is ready to take the plunge, contact Borgen Systems to get a new seafood case with DekFRESH technology™ in your store.