CINCINNATI -- Kroger Co. here kicked off summer with its first, season-long commitment to promoting wild Alaska salmon in a big way.
In 86 stores in this Kroger marketing area, large red, white and blue banners hanging from the ceiling in the seafood department ask, "Want Something Wild? Wild Alaska Seafood -- Kroger." The 5-by-3 slick cloth banners will stay up all summer, officials said.
Right now, the Alaska wild salmon species in season is Silverbrite, and chefs in 20 of the Kroger stores last weekend sauteed Silverbrite fillets and offered customers a sample. The chefs, from Great Chefs USA, Atlanta, were commissioned by the Juneau-based Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to give customers a taste of the fresh, wild product and to show them how quickly it can be made ready for the table.
The demos were a cooperative effort by Kroger, ASMI, Chef Paul Prudhomme's Magic Seasoning Blends and Fetzer Wines. The respective products were displayed next to the chef's station where Kroger private-label olive oil was used for the saute.
Just behind the action stations, a two- to three-foot expanse in the service seafood case -- a similar planogram in all 86 stores -- was devoted to rows of whole, fresh Silverbrite salmon. Fillets and steaks also were displayed. Some fillets, overwrapped on a tray, were displayed on a bed of ice at the chef's stations. For purchase of the whole fish, the retail price was $1.49 a pound; for fillets, $2.49 a pound; and for steaks, $1.99 a pound.
The next species to be spotlighted will be Sockeye. A flight of radio spots, some during drive time and some during the day, alerted the public that demos would be held in the particular stores. More spots to follow will focus on the wild Alaska salmon available at Kroger stores.