We’ve already talked about the fear that many consumers have when it comes to cooking and preparing seafood. They are worried about overcooking, undercooking, choosing the “wrong” cooking method, what to serve with their seafood. In–store demonstrations are a great way to help your customers feel comfortable with fresh seafood preparation, but is that enough on its own? Will that capture all of your customers?
The fact is that there are certain customers that demonstrations just do not work for. These customers are in a rush to get home from work, or they’re just the “Do–It–Yourself” type. A great way to capture this audience is by offering free recipe cards. Maybe you’re thinking that it’s a lot of effort to give out free recipes that people can likely come up with by searching the internet, but trust me, it will be worth it.
What You’ll Need
First and foremost, the investment on your end is nominal in comparison to the results you will see. Sure, you’ll have an initial time investment that goes along with gathering recipes for different types of fresh fish, but that is about it. Besides time, there is very little cost involved in having recipe cards printed. You can even make simple cards in–house with an office printer and some nice cardstock paper. A recipe card can be as simple as a 3×5 inch card with a recipe on the front side and a list of the ingredients they will need on the reverse.
What Is Trending?
The hardest part of using recipe cards to boost sales will be figuring out how best to grab the attention of your customers in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. A good way to start is to think about the culture of the community and what is trending right now in food.
The reality is consumers have been turning to seafood for years as a healthy menu option when they dine at restaurants. Ask any restaurateur and they will tell you the number of seafood meals ordered has increased significantly over the past few years. This could be due to a number of things, but I would be willing to bet that it is primarily because people are becoming increasingly aware of what they are putting into their bodies. Seafood is low in fat, and high in protein, minerals, and trendy (and healthy) omega-3s. This makes it a top pick for many health–conscious consumers.
Aside from healthy options, in today’s hectic world consumers are looking for ease and simplicity. This is why meal kit services like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron have become so popular. They take away the complications that come along with the preparation of a meal and focus on simple, fresh, and healthy meals in which all the ingredients are provided.
Appealing to Your Audience
Knowing all this, how can we appeal to our customers’ needs? Here are three basic ideas:
- Focus on healthy and simple recipes that take advantage of sustainable seafood options from a wholesale seafood distributor like Pucci Foods. Emphasize the fast-cooking nature of most seafood.
- Utilize seafood options that people love but tend to be intimidated by.
- If possible, offer the ability to pick up fresh herbs and other accompaniments at the seafood counter.
A great example of a fish that people tend to steer clear of when cooking at home is Chilean Sea Bass. In recent years, this has become a more sustainable seafood as some fisheries are now much more responsibly fished. Sea bass is a hugely popular choice at restaurants, but it’s not often that you hear of anyone cooking it at home.
By providing simple grilling instructions, your customers will welcome Chilean Sea Bass as an option for dinner. Like many fish, it’s also very healthy, being low in calories and high in protein. Here’s a recipe that I love to use when I cook Chilean Sea Bass at home.
Grilled Chilean Sea Bass
- 3 pounds of sea bass (filleted, skinned, and deboned)
- 1/4 teaspoon of garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- Lemon pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- Sea salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- Chopped garlic to taste (I like 2 cloves)
- 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
First, preheat the grill on high. Stir together garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, lemon pepper, and salt, and lightly rub the seasoning mix over the fish. Melt butter and whisk with half of olive oil, fresh garlic and herbs in a small saucepan. Grill the fish for 5-7 minutes, then turn and baste with butter/oil mixture to cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until it becomes flaky with a fork. Drizzle with olive oil before serving. This goes great with brown rice and grilled zucchini, yellow squash, and grape tomatoes.
Notice the recipe is simple enough that anyone can do it at home, either on their barbecue grill or in a grill pan. It also requires very little chopping and uses ingredients that many people will already have in their pantries. Also be sure to mention easy side items for your customers to prepare to make the fish into a full meal. Just make sure you choose healthy suggestions for sides as well.
As you know, every customer is different and catering to their needs can be a difficult task at times. Ultimately, though, consumers appreciate tips and tricks that will help make their lives easier. Your customer may be stopping at your store on their way home from work. They are tired from a long day at the office, and are now dealing with heavy commuter traffic around San Francisco. Providing recipe cards is one way to make their decision of what to make for dinner easier. Another way to make their dinner decision easier is to sell the freshest and most sustainable seafood. Pucci Foods provides wholesale seafood that is incredibly fresh, minimally handled, and certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.