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Retail Report: A regional favorite
Scallop sales up only slightly from 2008 numbers
November 01, 2009
Scallops are a popular seafood menu item and retail product
because of their soft texture and delicate, mild flavor.
Prices in recent years have been favorable for buyers due to
an abundance of fresh sea scallops on the market. The Atlantic
fishery produced a bumper crop of sea scallops last year, and
harvests exceeded 50 million pounds. The meats were large,
which made prices soften last year.
Sold fresh in the seafood department, the mollusk
contributed 3 percent to seafood department sales during the 52
weeks ending July 25.
Scallops are the leading molluscan species,
percent dollar share of the department category in U.S.
supermarkets. Nationwide, weekly sales of scallops averaged
$175 per store, up 1.7 percent from the prior year. The highest
average scallop sales were in the East region at $441 per
store, up 5.5 percent from the prior year. The East also had
the highest contribution (4.4 percent) to the seafood
department compared to other regions. The Central region had
the largest increase in average weekly scallop sales from the
prior year, up 10.3 percent to $119 per store. The South had
the largest average dollar sales decline of 3.9 percent to $117
per store. Finally, the West region had the lowest scallop
sales per store at $114, down 2.6 percent from the prior year.
The Central, South and West regions all had the same dollar
contribution to the seafood department of 2.3 percent.
This was the only mollusk subcategory to decline in average
retail pricing during the period. As oyster (the second largest
mollusk group in the department) pricing increased in the East,
Central and South regions, scallop prices dropped.
Fresh sea scallops and bay scallops are in season from
October to March, averaging $8.76 per pound. Average retail
price peaked the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Scallop
sales peaked the week of Christmas at $325 per store, an
increase of 9.6 percent from the prior year. Sales were also
high the week of Fourth of July at $218 per store. Scallop
sales were lowest during the week of Oct. 25, 2008, at $124 per
store, down 13.5 percent from the prior year.