Seafood bags innovate in flavor
Consumers are paying a 2,000% markup for plastic bags because they’re marketed for one specific purpose instead of for general use.
That purpose is boiling seafood and part of what people are paying for is not the product itself but the certainty that they’re using the right version of the product for their use case. Consumers are increasingly nervous about exposing plastic to heat during the cooking process, and even if a Ziploc bag is safe for this, it’s not advertised as such. In fact, normal plastic bags, like those made by Ziploc or Glad (roughly $0.15 / bag), are made of the same material as seafood bags (up to $4 / bag).
Like Meridian Grooming , seafood bag sellers can get a markup for telling their audience that the product they’re buying is the correct one, even if a functionally identical product is available more cheaply. Labeling a product “for X” makes people feel more comfortable that they haven’t made a wrong decision.
A trend that is growing every day
These types of highly-marked-up products often start out as a DIY solution before evolving into an established category. This happened to seafood bags and other products like mouth tape, which also sells for a 20x-30x markup over regular tape, even though it’s the same tape.
Another benefit consumers see in seafood bags is to do with the dynamics of cooking for large groups. At social events with lots of guests, it’s easier to cook food that’s served in continuous amounts rather than discrete portions. Pizza is the most-ordered form of takeout, in part because it’s easy to share with an arbitrary number of people and no specific orders need to be taken. Food made in seafood bags falls into a similar category, plus it can be served directly on a table, much like a grazing table, giving it visual appeal and making it easier to clean.