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Retail Report: Shrimp sales down 3.2 percent

High department prices dampen ad counts, volume lift

February 05, 2012


Rising prices resulted in lower seafood department ad counts and volume percent lift on promotion over the past year, down 2.8 percent and 14.2 percent, respectively. Price increases drove the 6.8 percent decline in weekly seafood volume per store, making seafood the only fresh supermarket department to have a decline (-0.5 percent) in average dollar sales per store per week. 

Shrimp is the second-largest category in the seafood department, accounting for 26.6 percent of the department’s sales. The category accounted for 33.4 percent of total dollars in fresh seafood, down half a percentage point versus the same period last year. Over the past five years, average retail shrimp prices at stable stores rose from $7.61 in 2006 to $8.11 in 2010. That trend has continued in the latest 52 weeks ending Oct. 29, 2011, as average retails have increased 10.3 percent. Raw shrimp accounted for 58.9 percent of shrimp sales. 

In the 52-week period shrimp brought in the most sales between the weeks ending Dec. 25, 2010, through Jan. 8, 2011. Weekly sales were highest the week ending Dec. 25, at $3,343 per store, coinciding with Christmas. The lowest weekly sales ended Dec. 4, 2010, the week after Thanksgiving, with sales of $1,190 per store per week. Both the top and bottom sales weeks were down compared to the prior year.  

Sales decreased 3.2 percent overall in all four U.S. regions down. The Eastern region led weekly shrimp sales, bringing in $2,539 per store (down 4.4 percent from the prior year). The Central region had the highest percentage of shrimp dollars coming from cooked shrimp at 58.7 percent. While weekly sales in the Southern region trailed the East by nearly $1,000 per store, it accounted for the largest amount of total dollars, at 38.4 percent of total U.S. shrimp sales. The Southern region also had the highest percentage of shrimp dollars in raw shrimp, at 68.7 percent. The Western region sold $1,417 per store per week, down 2.2 percent.    

Contrary to department trends, shrimp increased ad count 2.4 percent in the 52 weeks; however, the volume percent lift on promotion declined 23.4 percent compared to the prior year as promotional retail prices increased 11.1 percent. Retailers also shifted ad types from buy-one-get-one (down 9.8 percent) and price multiple promotions (down 52.2 percent) to more coupon (up 66.7 percent) and sale promotional ads (up 2.9 percent). Consumers continue to feel the economic pressures of today’s market and pull back spending from the shrimp category as retail prices continue to climb, even as retailers increase their promotions and change the promotional mix. 

This sales review is provided by Nielsen Perishables Group, a consulting firm in Chicago focused on innovation and creating value for clients in the fresh food industry. Reported results are for Oct. 31, 2010, through Oct. 29, 2011, compiled from grocery stores nationwide, representing 61.5 percent of national supermarket ACV share. Sales data provided by Perishables Group FreshFacts® powered by Nielsen. 

February 2012 - SeaFood Business

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