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Retail Report - Southern markets push tilapia

Weekly tilapia sales increase 4.2 percent over 2012, Western markets see growth

November 01, 2013

Following several years of increased tilapia sales, the finfish continued upward growth during the latest 52 weeks ending July 27. Tilapia is an essential component of the seafood department assortment, contributing nearly 10 percent to total seafood dollar sales. Second in sales behind only salmon within the finfish category, tilapia dollar sales increased 8 percent to more than $590 million during the latest 52 weeks. Tilapia accounted for 25.4 percent of finfish dollar sales.

Nationally, weekly tilapia sales were up 4.2 percent to $643 per store compared to the prior year. The South had the highest dollar velocity at $827 during this period, an increase of 4.9 percent. This was followed by the Eastern region, which grew weekly sales 3.7 percent compared to the prior year to $611 per store. Central region weekly sales increased at a slower rate than the South and East, up 1.1 percent to $551 per store. The West had the largest growth compared to the previous year, a 5.7 percent increase, but posted the lowest average weekly sales at $403 per store.  

Average retail tilapia pricing decreased across the four U.S. regions. National average retail pricing was down 3.9 percent to $3.75 per pound. The East had the highest average retail price at $4.27 per pound, despite a 5.7 percent decrease in pricing. The Central region had the second-highest average retail price at $3.81, down 3.3 percent from the prior year. The South and West had the lowest average prices at $3.65 and $3.60 per pound, respectively. 

Tilapia sales were highest during the second week in March, reaching $878 per store. This was followed by the week of Valentine’s Day, during which tilapia hit $856 per store, an increase of 19.2 percent compared to the previous year. The latter week was the first week of the 2013 Lenten season, which went through the end of March and drove seafood sales up during that time. 

A closer look at the 10 top-selling markets nationwide reveals that the top eight markets for tilapia are located in the South.  Miami led tilapia weekly sales nationally for the second year in a row with $1,454 sold per store. West Texas and New Orleans-Mobile, Ala., followed at $1,228 and $1,208 per store per week, respectively. West Texas and New Orleans-Mobile increased average dollar sales 5.4 percent and 8.3 percent, enough to move up from the third and fourth spots, respectively.  Atlanta slipped from the No. 2 spot to No. 4 during the 52 weeks ending July 27, selling $1,204 per store per week. This was despite an increase of 2.7 percent compared to the prior year. 

Nationally, ad count for all finfish increased 3.3 percent compared to the prior year. The East had the highest ad count of all regions and grew 9 percent. This was followed by the Western and Southern regions, which increased 3 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively. The Central region had the smallest ad count and was the only region to decline in ad count compared to the prior year, down 5.8 percent. 

This sales review is provided by Nielsen Perishables Group. Based in Chicago, Nielsen Perishables Group specializes in measurement, analytics, marketing communications, category development, promotional best practices and shopper insights. Reported results are for July 29, 2012, through July 27, 2013, unless otherwise noted. Results were compiled from key U.S. grocery, mass/supercenter and club chains, including 18,000 stores nationwide. For more information, contact Kelli Beckel at the Perishables Group: (773) 929-7013, kelli.beckel@nielsen.com.

  November 2013 - SeaFood Business

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