LANDOVER, Md. -- Introductory half-price deals and in-store demonstrations are helping to sell a line of ready-to-cook fresh fish dinners, a newcomer in the seafood departments at Giant Food Stores.
Fish N' Easy, the name of the line of meals, features nine dinners consisting of a 5- to 6-ounce fresh fish filet, or two 3-ounce crab cakes, with seasoned sauce or butter, and a 4- to 5-ounce serving of potatoes or wild rice. They're sold in self-serve cases in Giant stores.
The meals are the latest addition to Giant's seafood departments, a spokesman for the 186-store chain told SN.
"We wanted to try something different to expand the seafood category," said Barry Scher, vice president of public affairs.
Packaged in containers that are safe in microwaves and conventional ovens, the "restaurant-quality" meals target busy consumers who don't have the time, the knowledge or the inclination to cook, officials from Washington Seafood, the manufacturer, told SN.
"A lot of consumers aren't comfortable cooking seafood," said Craig Goodman, vice president of sales for the Washington-based company. "A lot of people out there aren't comfortable cooking anything.
We think we have a very timely product."
The meals feature tried-and-true fish choices -- three of the meals centered around salmon. One of the more popular choices is Stuffed Salmon, a filet of fresh Atlantic salmon with lump crab stuffing, accompanied by wild rice. Also available are Chesapeake Crab Cakes and Stuffed Rainbow Trout, among others.
Except for the crab cake dinner, which retails for $9.99, all of the meals are priced at $6.99. To date, the stuffed salmon and crab cake packs have been top sellers, Goodman added.
To encourage customer trial, Giant has featured the product several weeks in a row in its weekly advertising. Washington Seafood has promoted the varieties by marking the price down 50% and, on weekends, has conducted in-store demonstrations at various Giant locations -- 10 to 15 stores every week, Goodman said.
The half-price promotions have boosted by 15 times the number of units sold of the featured product, he said.
"We're happy with the early results," he said.
The meals are packaged in special patent-pending, modified-atmosphere containers, which give the meals a 15-day shelf life.