Ready-to-eat, raw fish dishes have become grocery store staples over the past several years, as food retailers around the country have added sushi stations and grab-and-go cases filled with offerings like poke bowls, California rolls and sashimi. Walmart is upping its raw seafood game, too.
In October 2023, Walmart teamed with the Houston-based chain Uncle Sharkii to open the first Uncle Sharkii location inside a Walmart store in Vacaville, Calif. Shoppers there can choose from a variety of Hawaiian-inspired poke bowls, fresh seafood dishes and other items, including fully-cooked options. A range of Boba drinks are available as well.
[Read more: “Plenty of Fish Opportunities in Retail”]
“Entering Walmart was a strategic decision, and we are thrilled to be a part of such a respected retail giant,” Uncle Sharkii shared in a recent post on its website. “Walmart's commitment to serving communities aligns perfectly with our mission to provide affordable fast food options. “
As the new year opens, three Uncle Sharkii outposts are currently co-located in Walmart stores in California, including Vacaville and the towns of Roseveill and Galt. After signing a master lease agreement with Walmart, Uncle Sharkii announced in late December that seven more locations are in the works in California and three are coming soon to Walmart stores in Utah.
As Walmart picks up the poke bowl pace, other retailers around the country continue to meet shopper demand for such prepared foods. According to market insights firm Circana, dollar sales of sushi products at U.S. stores surged by 72% over the last four years.
Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named Walmart one of its Retailers of the Century.