retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times reports this morning that Zabar’s, the legendary Upper West Side grocery store, has changed the name of its lobster salad to “Seafare Salad.”


Well, for one thing, it doesn’t have any lobster in it. Never has, at least not for the past 15 years. Just wild freshwater crawfish, mayonnaise, celery, salt and sugar.

The recipe came to light when a New Orleans reporter vacationing in New York stopped at Zabar’s for lobster salad on a bagel - but realized, upon close visual inspection, that there was no lobster.

The store’s 83-year-old co-owner, Saul Zabar, says that crawfish was used because it often is referred to as a kind of lobster. (It isn’t.) And he says it wasn’t a deliberate misrepresentation, and that he has received few complaints over the years. (To be fair, the ingredients are on the label.)

But Zabar’s now has changed the name because it was pressed to be accurate by the Maine Lobster Council, which read a piece written by the New Orleans reporter.
KC's View:
Score one for transparency.

I know I’m getting old and cynical, but I don’t believe for a second that this wasn’t deliberate.