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Retail Report: Lobster sales hold steady

Dollar sales up almost 12 percent; highest growth seen in the South

August 01, 2013

Lobster maintained strong growth within the seafood department during the 52 weeks ending April 27. It was the second-highest selling crustacean behind crab, and gained 11.8 percent in dollar sales during the reporting period. Lobster contributed 3.5 percent to overall department sales, consistent with the previous 52 weeks.  

Nationally, lobster weekly sales averaged $233 per store, up 9 percent from the prior year. Each U.S. region contributed to this growth with sales highest in the East, where average weekly sales grew 3.3 percent to $594 per store. The Western region ranked behind the East in average weekly sales, increasing 4.2 percent to an average of $186 per store. The Central region averaged $162 per store per week, representing 6.9 percent growth over the past year. The Southern region had the greatest growth of all regions, as average weekly sales increased 21.9 percent to $151 per store. Lobster’s contribution to seafood department sales in this region increased to 2.3 percent from 2 percent the prior year.

An increase in promotional activity across most regions contributed to lobster’s growth, with 51.5 percent of total volume sales sold on promotion, versus 48.3 percent in the previous year. The South and West had the greatest increase in promotional activity. In the Southern region, 51 percent of lobster sales came from promotions, versus 40.8 percent in the previous year. Similarly, 59.3 percent of lobster sales in the Western region came from promotions, versus 49.7 percent in the previous year. 

Lobster sales peaked during key holidays early in the year, although these winter holiday sales declined from the prior year. Lobster sales averaged $780 per store for the week of New Year’s, down from $813 the previous year. Valentine’s Day lobster sales declined, with average sales of $697 per store for the week ending Feb. 16, 2013, down from $808 the previous year. However, lobster sales increased throughout the rest of the year, with average weekly sales per store growing throughout the summer and early fall months. Lobster sales slowed in October and November, with the lowest sales occurring the week ending Oct. 27, 2012.

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 the 52 weeks ending April 27, 2013. 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. 


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