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CEO: Lack Of Tuna Promotions Contributed To Drop In US Sales United States, January 16, 13

Bumble Bee CEO, Chris Lischewski, blames the lack of tuna promotions in retail stores for the huge slump in U.S. tuna consumption last year, which declined by about 12%.
In an interview with a seafood news website, Lischewski says retailers are not actively advertising the products as they used to due to the higher price points. In the past, it was common for tuna to be sold with big promotions such as two cans for one dollar.


Bumble Bee CEO, Chis Lischewski

Tuna was also pushed out of the spotlight when the U.S. Big Three brands – Bumble Bee, StarKist and Chicken of the Sea – pulled the plug on their joint “Tuna the Wonderfish” campaign, a USD 60 million marketing initiative to promote tuna and its health benefits over three years. Lischewski says the campaign, which included national TV ads, would have created consumer pull for the product, especially given the country’s obesity problems and aging population. He adds Bumble Bee wanted to see the campaign continue.
With price points affected by raw tuna material prices, which hit record levels in 2012, the Big Three were not prepared for the additional challenge and had to play catch-up in aligning their prices with the hefty raw tuna costs. Other factors that may have affected the shrinking tuna demand could include overall dissatisfaction with the product quality and fears about alleged health risks from eating tuna.
Still, even though American consumers have to pay more for canned tuna, the protein is still a good buy compared to the higher prices of other proteins, Lischewski argues.