CHICAGO -- It’s Lenten season, and for those who observe Lent, that usually means giving up their favorite indulgence. For some, that may be alcohol, for others, desserts. But traditionally, it’s a time to say goodbye to meat—at least on Fridays.
Technomic recently released a 2017 update to its Seafood & Vegetarian Consumer Trend Report, which found that restaurant goers are more interested than ever in meatless meals. They’re choosing entrees that feature seafood and vegetables in the center of the plate more than they were just two year ago; in fact, a survey of 1,500 U.S. consumers found that 59% of them now eat meatless meals at least once a week. And 50% of today’s consumers want restaurants to offer a wider variety of vegetarian options.
Does this consumer sensibility carry over to the c-store space? Even in a segment dominated by roller grill, burger and pizza offerings, some convenience brands are thinking beyond the norm to present customers with food that fits their need for a particular occasion or season, such as Lent.
Here are four retailers promoting seafood and veggie options ...
Baltimore-based Royal Farms is pushing its Baked Beer Battered program, featuring sustainably harvested Alaska pollock.
Specials include Baked Beer Battered Fish and Chips; a four-piece serving is priced at $6.99, while two pieces are $4.99. Its Alaskan Pollock Sub is offered as a limited-time offer (LTO) for $5.69, and a new Alaskan Pollock Wheat Wrap is being marketed for $4.99.
Rutter's Farm Stores
Available year-round, York, Pa.-based Rutter’s provides a wide assortment of seafood items, such as crab cake burgers, sandwiches and sliders, on the menu. Bada Bing Shrimp and Mahi-Mahi Bites were notable LTOs. And for its dinner basket lineup, seafood items include Alaska cod, fried shrimp and crab cakes.