NEW ORLEANS -- Louisiana oysters are for lovers.
siana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board this Valentine's Day for the locally harvested mollusk, oft heralded as an aphrodisiac.
Some 108 stores from three chains will participate in a weeklong "Oyster Lovers" promotion in which customers will have the chance to win authentic pearl jewelry. One winner will be selected per chain. No purchase is necessary.
Participants include: Winn-Dixie, Harahan, La., a division of Winn-Dixie Stores, Jacksonville, Fla; A&P, New Orleans, a division of A&P, Montvale, N.J., and Schwegmann Giant Super Markets, New Orleans.
In-store oyster displays will be highlighted with point-of-purchase materials such as recipe brochures and entry blanks for the Feb. 14 drawing, according to Chris Walters Hebert, assistant executive director of the Board.
A logo created for the campaign depicts a male and female oyster snuggling in an oyster shell bed. Recipes include Oyster Sweetie Pies, Kiss 'N Tell Oysters, Cupid's Oyster Delight and Oyster Passion.
The Oyster Lovers concept was introduced last year in a promotion at the Schwegmann's chain, said Hebert. The program was expanded this year to include other retailers, she said.
Lolita Rosemond, seafood buyer for Schwegmann, said the promotion was "very successful" last year.
"Oysters are normally a good seller for us and this year it has been very good," she added. So, she expects the promotion to do well again, and oysters will probably be more heavily advertised.
"Our customers got a real kick out of it last year," she said.
The 10-ounce and the pint-sized jars of oysters are the most popular, she said; oysters in shells are very seldom merchandised. The current price for a 10-ounce jar is $4.19, but Rosemond expects it will be specially priced for the promotion.
Nearly all the oysters sold at the Schwegmann chain are from Louisiana waters; however, if local oysters are not available, the company will source supplies from Galveston, Texas. "But that is as far as we go," said Rosemond.