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Retail Report: Fresh tuna on the uptick

Central region leads sales growth at 26.2 percent

May 01, 2014

Tuna comprised 2.2 percent of the finfish category during the 52 weeks ending Jan. 25, placing it seventh in sales of fresh fish species. However, with weekly sales up 18.7 percent to $57 dollars per store, tuna’s growth far outpaced the other species experiencing sales growth, with sea bass/sea bream placing a distant second with 13.8 percent dollar growth during the same period, up to $8 per store per week. Finfish increased weekly dollar sales 3.8 percent to $2,588 per store, with increased dollar sales in six of the top seven finfish species.  

Some of the sales growth in tuna could be attributed to a slight increase in the percentage of households purchasing, up 0.7 percentage points to 2.6 percent of households. Trips per household remained steady at 1.8 trips per year, but net dollars per trip decreased 5 percent to $9.62.

Nationally, tuna sales peaked the week of the Fourth of July holiday (the week ending July 6, 2013), with $81 per store. This week’s sales increased 32.5 percent from $61 the previous year. Weekly tuna sales from Memorial Day (week ending May 25) until Labor Day (week ending Sept. 7), averaged 37.3 percent higher per store than the same weeks the previous year ($51 per store per week in 2012 compared to $70 per store per week in 2013). Higher pricing and consumer demand for tuna could both be cited as a driver for this growth.

Tuna sales increased significantly across regions during the 52 weeks ending Jan. 25. The Central region led in weekly tuna sales growth, up 26.2 percent from $34 per store in the previous year, while the Southern region increased 14.7 percent versus the prior year. The East had the highest sales among U.S. regions with an average of $78 per store per week, while the Central region had the lowest sales per store per week at $43. 

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. FreshFacts Point-of-Sale Data: 52 weeks ending Jan. 25, 2014, key U.S. grocery, mass/supercenter and club chains. FreshFacts® Shopper Insights Powered by Spire: 52 weeks ending Feb. 22, 2014, grocery channel only. For more information, contact Haley Hastings at the Nielsen Perishables Group: (773) 929-7013, haley.hastings@nielsen.com.

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