Some grocery chains utilize other in-store merchandising techniques and their web sites and social media to communicate seafood sustainability and traceability initiatives.  

Some Albertson’s Star Market banner and Wegmans stores display videos of producers talking about where and how they fish in the seafood department, said Anne-Marie Roerink, principal of 210 Analytics.  

And Publix effectively communicates its affiliation with the Ocean Disclosure Project, according to Guy Pizzuti, business development seafood director at Publix.  

“Our sustainable and responsible logos along with our sustainability website do a great job in communicating our commitment to sustainable seafood,” Pizzuti said.    

Still, retailers need to communicate their sustainability and traceability commitments more clearly, experts say. While many retailers call out their sustainability efforts in merchandising, Roerink recommended they ensure that consumers “fully understand what that means — not in industry terms, but in consumer-friendly language.”  

Around 67% of shoppers surveyed by Retail Insight believe grocery stores need to improve their sustainability initiatives. Only 6% said stores were doing all they could to be environmentally friendly.   

In addition, around half (54%) of respondents believe grocers “merely paid lip service” to sustainability initiatives. And just 6% believe grocers’ sustainability claims come from a genuine desire to save the planet.   

Consumers are flooded with “sustainable” stories, which “can confuse even the most up to date consumer, so having third party verified labels can help ease the mind of the conscientious seafood shopper,” Øen noted. “This is an area where we are expecting a lot of development by individual retailers going forward. The consumer needs labeling that is reliable and at the same time easy to understand.”