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Retail Report: Tilapia gains ground

Average price drops almost 3 percent, drives increased sales

December 01, 2012

Tilapia continues to gain traction within the seafood department with a 24.9 percent dollar share of finfish sales. A product with nearly complete distribution (at 99.6 percent ACV selling), tilapia is the second highest-selling finfish behind salmon, and gained 7.2 percent in total dollar sales during the 52 weeks ending Aug. 25, 2012. This whitefish contributed 9.4 percent to seafood department sales over the 52-week period, consistent with the prior year.

Nationally, tilapia weekly sales averaged $608 per store, up 3.5 percent from the prior year. Each U.S. region, with the exception of the Central region, increased tilapia average weekly sales during the 52 weeks. The highest average tilapia weekly sales were in the Southern region at $766 per store, up 5.2 percent from the prior year. The Eastern region had the greatest growth of all regions, as average weekly sales increased 6.5 percent to $582 per store. The Central region generated the third-highest average weekly tilapia sales at $543 per store, down a slight 0.8 percent from the prior year. Weekly tilapia sales in the West averaged $381 per store, steady from the prior year (up 0.6 percent).

Tilapia had an average retail price of $3.88 per pound at the national level, down 2.9 percent from the prior year. Average retail prices for tilapia decreased across all regions, aiding the category’s sales increase as consumers were drawn in by low prices. 

The highest-selling week for tilapia occurred the week ending Feb. 25, 2012, which corresponded with the beginning of Lent. Weekly sales reached $798 per store, on average. Four of the five top-selling weeks fell within the window of Ash Wednesday and Easter. The highest non-Lenten week for tilapia sales occurred the week ending Jan. 14, 2012, as per-store sales averaged $736. 

Tilapia had the lowest sales during and around other holidays; the weeks leading up to Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day and the week after Thanksgiving generated the five lowest average weekly sales for this fish species.

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 Sept. 3, 2011, through Aug. 25, 2012. Results were compiled from key U.S. grocery, mass/supercenter and club chains, including 17,000 stores nationwide. For more information, contact Kelli Beckel at the Perishables Group: (773) 929-7013; kelli.beckel@nielsen.com.


December 2012 - SeaFood Business   

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