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Retail Report: Crab sales flat

Year-end holidays continue to drive crab, crabmeat sales


March 01, 2013

Increased promotional activity could have been a possible driver of positive dollar sales growth for crab and crabmeat during the 52 weeks ending Nov. 24, 2012, compared to the previous year. The crab category includes whole crabs and crab pieces (legs and claws), while crabmeat is specific to meat only. Weekly crab dollars per store increased 5.3 percent and crabmeat increased 1 percent. 

Meanwhile, crab sold an average $310 weekly per store in the United States, while crabmeat averaged $100 during the same period. Crab and crabmeat’s dollar contribution to the seafood department remained largely unchanged compared to the previous year, with crab contributing 4.7 percent and crabmeat contributing 1.5 percent. Crab accounted for nearly half of crustacean category dollar sales, while crabmeat accounted for 15 percent.

Crab and crabmeat proved to be popular options for holiday meals and entertaining, but dollar sales were not as high as the previous year. Crab sales peaked around New Year’s Eve, bringing in $642 per store the week ending Dec. 31, 2011, down from $736 the previous year. Crabmeat peaked a week earlier, bringing in $278 per store during the week ending Dec. 24, 2011, down from $293 per store the previous year. The second-highest selling week for crabmeat occurred around Thanksgiving; sales also spiked during New Year’s. 

Average weekly sales per store for crab increased in three regions across the United States, but declined in the West. The South led weekly crab sales, posting $370 per store, an increase of 10.2 percent. The region posted the second highest weekly sales per store with $364 (an increase of 0.5 percent), and the Central region followed with $261 per store per week (an increase of 5 percent). The West had the lowest average weekly sales with $197 per store, a decrease of 2.8 percent.  

For crabmeat, average weekly sales per store also increased in three regions, but declined in the East. However, the Eastern region led weekly crabmeat sales, bringing in $192 per store, a decrease of 4 percent compared to the previous year. The West region had the lowest average weekly sales with $38 per store, an increase of 8.3 percent compared to the previous year. 

The Central region had average weekly sales of $42 per store and led growth versus the previous year with an increase of 14.8 percent. Finally, the South posted weekly sales of $123 per store, an increase of 1.7 percent. 

This sales review is provided by Nielsen Perishables Group in Chicago, which specializes in measurement, analytics, marketing communications, category development, promotional best practices and shopper insights. Reported results are for the 52 weeks ending Nov. 24, 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.

Find other SeaFood Business articles covering crab here.

March 2013 - SeaFood Business

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