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Retail Report: Lower retails drive salmon sales

Hartford, Seattle, Boston top U.S. salmon markets

By SFB Staff Reporter
November 01, 2012

Salmon is the highest-selling variety of finfish in the supermarket, with 39.9 percent of category sales. Salmon dollar sales increased during the 52 weeks ending June 30, contributing 15.1 percent to seafood department sales. Sales were fueled in part by lower retail prices; nationally, salmon had an average supermarket price of $7.77 during the 52 weeks, down 3.5 percent from the prior year.

National weekly salmon sales (including wild and farmed) averaged $981 per store, up 17.2 percent from the prior year. Salmon sales increased nationwide, with the highest average weekly sales in the East region at $1,456 per store, up 15.6 percent from the prior year. The South region increased average weekly sales per store 20 percent to $716, the greatest growth of any region. The West sold more salmon than the national average at $1,108 per store per week, an increase of 15.4 percent. The Central region’s weekly store sales ran just below the national average at $920, up 15.1 percent from the prior year.

The highest-selling weeks for salmon occurred in June, corresponding with Father’s Day and Memorial Day, as more consumers look to healthier grilling options for parties and celebrations. The week ending June 16, 2012, sales peaked at $1,245 per store. The week of June 2 was close behind, at $1,242 per store. 

While salmon typically performs well in the East, the top 10 salmon markets ranged across the four regions. With $1,674 per store per week and an increase of 16.7 percent from the previous year, Hartford-New Haven, Conn., had the strongest salmon sales, taking the top spot away from Seattle. Boston followed closely with $1,633 per store per week, a 20.7 percent increase, moving from the No. 5 spot to the No. 2 spot. New York, Seattle and San Francisco rounded out the top five salmon markets. Seattle had the smallest growth of any market at 2.5 percent. 

Minneapolis ranked sixth for salmon sales, with a 16.9 percent increase in weekly dollars per store to $1,503. Philadelphia and Denver both declined in position. Miami and Buffalo-Rochester, N.Y., rounded out the top 10 markets. Dallas, Houston and Jacksonville, Fla., were below the national average for salmon sales but had the highest growth of the markets at over 30 percent each. Only five of the 45 U.S. markets had less than double-digit dollar sales growth over the prior year and only three declined in volume, making salmon one of the fastest-growing categories in seafood. 

This sales review is provided by the Nielsen Perishables Group. Based in Chicago, the Nielsen Perishables Group specializes in research, analytics, marketing communications, category development, promotional best practices and shopper insights. Reported results are for the 52 weeks ending June 30, 2012, compiled from grocery stores nationwide representing 62.6 percent of national supermarket ACV share. For more information, contact Kelli Beckel at: (773) 929-7013; kelli.beckel@nielsen.com

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