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Retail Report: Catfish/pangasius sales up despite price hike

Promotional activity in the West on the rise

December 03, 2013

Despite continued price increases, catfish sales maintained upward growth during the past year, and accounted for 10 percent of finfish category sales during the 52 weeks ending Aug. 31. Catfish (including pangasius) was the third highest-selling finfish behind salmon and tilapia with dollar sales growth of 4.7 percent during the period. Catfish contributed 3.8 percent to department dollar sales, consistent with the previous 52 weeks. 

Nationally, catfish weekly sales averaged $254 per store, up 1.3 percent from the prior year. However, this growth during the latest 52 weeks was driven entirely by the South, where catfish weekly sales increased 3.9 percent to $332 per store. Catfish sales were highest in this region, and declined in all other regions. The Central region had the second-highest average weekly catfish sales in the country at $289 per store, a 2 percent decline from the previous year; however, catfish’s contribution to the seafood department was highest in the Central region at 5 percent. Weekly catfish sales in the Western and Eastern regions averaged $174 and $129 per store, respectively, a 0.4 and 4.5 percent decline from the prior year.

Nationally, catfish promotional activity increased, with 21 percent of catfish volume sold while on promotion, versus 20.6 percent the prior year. The largest increase in promotional activity was in the West, where 21.4 percent of catfish volume was sold while on promotion, versus 19.8 percent the prior year. However, the Central region had the highest level of promotional activity, with 22.1 percent of catfish volume sold on promotion, up 0.7 points from the prior year.

January, February and March were the strongest months, with catfish sales also seeing a small lift during the first two weeks of each month throughout the year. The highest weekly catfish sales occurred the week ending Feb. 16, 2013, when sales averaged $339 per store, a 23.3 percent increase over the same week the previous year. The second-highest weekly catfish sales occurred the week ending March 9, 2013, the peak week for catfish sales during the previous year. Average sales for this week were $331 per store, a 6.2 percent decline from the prior year, suggesting a possible shift in promotional activity from the prior year. Later in the year, catfish sales declined slightly from their February peak but remained steady throughout the summer months. Sales declined throughout the fourth quarter of 2012, with the lowest average sales occurring the week ending Dec. 29, 2012, an average of $167 per store.

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 Aug. 31, 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.

Find other SeaFood Business articles discussing catfish / pangasius here.

  December 2013 - SeaFood Business

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