How Best to Display your Seafood
In the seafood industry, industry experts stand by the idea that the success of a seafood market isn’t only a matter of product freshness and quality. In reality, the way seafood is displayed in their cases also plays a large role in sales. According to Seafood Source, “the creativity of the seafood display is the first thing to lure shoppers to take a closer look at the daily seafood offerings.” An unappealing display can turn prospective customers away from purchasing seafood just as much as two-day old fare. Understanding and utilizing case psychology can help seafood markets maximize their sales and keep customers satisfied.
Any seafood display can be made more appealing when the featured fare is organized by color. We are all naturally inclined to pay attention to contrasts, which makes for an excellent rule of thumb when building a seafood display. Consider the following example: “Three white fillets next to each other are bland. White cod and tilapia fillets with orange salmon fillets in between make all three items jump out at the customer due to the color contrast.” Grocers use the same strategy to make produce of varying hues—such as carrots and cucumbers, for example—stand out.
To ensure that the colorful contrasts in your seafood display are fully appreciated by your customers, high quality lighting is also recommended. Meat cases are often equipped with light bulbs with “infrared or ultraviolet to bring out the red in meat” and further entice buyers. Because seafood comes in such a broad range of colors, however, “a natural white-color spectrum bulb” that accurately represents the varied hues of the fare is best. The lighting of a seafood market is so influential that one seafood wholesaler in Santa Monica, Calif. invested $45 per bulb to create “extravagant” lighting that is noticeably “crisp [and] clean.”
The best seafood displays are also abundant. Customers understandably don’t want to purchase food from a market that doesn’t seem to have high product turnover. They also don’t want to buy what others have left behind. Seafood Business Magazine confirms that “abundant displays are one of the most important factors of eye appeal.” An abundant case is not only a visual indicator of freshness, but also of choice. Of course, that doesn’t mean that seafood managers should stuff their displays with seafood piled high. A better approach is to introduce “fresh product to augment displays throughout the day,” as the initial offerings are sold off. These proven seafood display strategies make it clear that, sometimes, it’s not just what’s on the inside that counts. When seafood is arranged in a manner that is visually appealing, customers are more likely to make a purchase. While there is no doubt that “quality and service are what wins long-term, repeat customers,” a great display will attract those important first-time customers to investigate the day’s daily offerings, and may even inspire a few impulse sales. More often than not, a thriving seafood market will owe a part of its success to an artfully managed display.