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East Coast Tops Market Stops Putting Fish in Floral Arrangements

April 2001

PETA received a call from a floral manager of a Tops Market, a grocery-store chain with more than 130 stores scattered across the East Coast, about a product she was to begin selling in her store called “Betta Fish Arrangement,” a small vase containing a betta fish and a plant. We immediately sent a letter to Sal Baio, president of the produce and perishables department, who makes the final purchasing decisions regarding all products in that department. We also sent a copy of the letter to the CEO of the company, as well as Ahold, USA, which is Tops Markets, Inc.’s parent company.

We received a call soon after from Mr. Baio, indicating that he had not intended to promote a cruel product and, until receiving our letter, had not viewed “Beta Fish Arrangement” in that way. He said that the item would immediately be pulled out of all 70 stores that were already selling it and that he would stop the order for the rest of the stores and agreed not to sell this or similar products in his stores in the future.