When the blockbuster film "Forrest Gump" made its video debut April 28, several seafood executives jumped at the chance to cross-merchandise the video with shrimp products.
The Academy Award-winning movie, which grossed $300 million at the box office, is the story of Forrest Gump, who in the course of his life unwittingly ends up in the center of some of the most controversial events in recent American history. Along the way Gump ends up running a shrimp company named "Bubba Gump Shrimp." That made it a natural for seafood cross-merchandising. Dierbergs Markets, Chesterfield, Mo., for example, tried to net some extra seafood sales by setting up monitors in several seafood departments with the video of the movie playing.
The seafood employees wore "Bubba Gump Shrimp" hats, and also had the hats on sale. The seafood department also displayed movie posters and point-of-purchase materials, said Bernie Moran, deli-seafood supervisor at Dierbergs.
John Muckerman, director of marketing at Dierbergs, told SN the chain put five different varieties of "Bubba Gump" brand shrimp on ad the week of April 25: A 14-ounce bag of shell-on retailed for $8.99; a 12-ounce bag of peeled, deveined and cooked shrimp retailed for $8.99; a 12-ounce bag of cooked salad shrimp retailed for $5.99; a 10-ounce bag of popcorn shrimp retailed for $3.99, and a 4-ounce bag of cocktail shrimp retailed for $1.99.
In the video department, the cassette was cross-merchandised with "Bubba Gump" cookbooks and boxes of chocolates, another product related to the film.
Dierbergs will probably repeat the promotion in a few weeks, Moran said. "It will be exciting," he added.
Seaway Food Town, Maumee, Ohio, was another supermarket operator that tied a shrimp sale to the movie's video release. Wally Bilius, director of meat operations at Seaway, said that for the week of April 24, 31- to 40-count tail-on shrimp was $9.99 per pound.