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Retail Report: St. Peter's fish on the rise

Average weekly tilapia sales up 3.2 percent

August 01, 2009

Tilapia, the fastest growing farmed seafood species in terms of consumption in the United States, continues to gain popularity among U.S. consumers. The finfish contributed 5.6 percent to seafood department sales during the 52 weeks ending April 25. Tilapia accounted for 15.7 percent dollar share of the finfish category, making it the second largest subcategory following salmon.

Nationally, weekly tilapia sales averaged $317 per store, up 3.2 percent from the prior year. Weather-related problems overseas put a damper on the supply and increased prices last year, but the retail tilapia market seems to be holding strong this year. The recession has also contributed to increased interest in lower-priced whitefish like tilapia.

The East, the only region to decline (4.1 percent) in tilapia weekly sales per store since the previous year, had the highest weekly dollar sales of any region with an average of $364 per store. However, the East region had the lowest tilapia contribution to the seafood department with 4 percent, due in part to the region's preference for other seafood species such as cod and scallops.

The South followed with $357 in average weekly store sales, up 0.6 percent from the prior year and contributing 4.6 percent of dollar sales to total seafood. The Central region sold an average of $319 per store per week and had a 6.2 percent contribution to the department. The Central 
region declined 9.1 percent in average weekly tilapia dollar sales per store from the prior year. Finally, the West region sold $220 per store per week, a 4.6 percent contribution to the department, and boasted the largest growth from the prior year at 14.7 percent.

Tilapia sales peaked the last week of February at $475 per store, an increase of 34.5 percent from the same period in 2008, as consumers purchased more tilapia at the beginning of Lent. Sales were also high the week of Passover and Good Friday in April at $424 per store, and after the New Year at $380 per store. Sales were lowest during the Thanksgiving week.


This sales review is provided by the Perishables Group, Inc. (PG), Chicago, Ill., an independent consulting firm focused on innovation and creating value for clients in the fresh food industry. Reported results are for May 3, 2008, through April 25, 2009, compiled from grocery stores nationwide, representing 61.3 percent of national supermarket ACV share. Sales data provided by Perishables Group FreshFacts® powered by Nielsen. For more information, contact Kelli Beckel; phone: (773) 929-7013; e-mail: kellib@perishablesgroup.com.





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