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Retail Report: Prepared seafood sales take off

Consumers turn to easy meals instead of trekking to restaurants

prepared seafood - Photo courtesy of East Coast Gourmet

February 01, 2009

Prepared seafood answers the demands of individuals who want restaurant-quality seafood at home without the costs associated with dining out. Consumer interest in prepared seafood is gaining, spurring growth nationally.

Prepared seafood contributed 15.3 percent to seafood department sales during the 52 weeks ending Oct. 25, 2008. Sales were dominated by the "other prepared seafood" category with 85.1 percent share. The most popular items in this category include prepared fish (smoked, breaded, seasoned, salted, stuffed, cooked and fish cakes/burgers), prepared crustaceans and platters. The surimi-seafood category share was 13.6 percent and was comprised of crab, lobster and scallop surimi-seafood products. The remaining category share (1.3 percent) was made up of meals, which includes clam, fish/seafood, lobster, scallop and shrimp meals.

Nationally, weekly sales of prepared seafood averaged $852 per store, a 2.3 percent increase from the prior year. Weekly category sales increased in all regions since the prior year. The Eastern region had the highest sales, with an average of $1,388 per store per week. The Central region followed with $982 in average weekly sales per store. The South sold an average of $711 per store, followed by the West with $668.

The Central region had the greatest increase in prepared seafood sales with 3.3 percent, and had the highest contribution to the seafood department at 18.7 percent. The South increased 2.8 percent and contributed 14.4 percent to the department. Prepared seafood sales in the East region grew 2.2 percent since the prior year and contributed the second-highest percentage of seafood department sales with 15.9 percent. The West region increased only 1.4 percent and contributed just 14.2 percent to seafood department sales.

Prepared seafood sales peaked during the weeks leading up to New Year's Day as people began to host parties, with a high of $1,506 per store per week. Sales were also high the week of Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday at $1,163, a 15.9 percent increase from the prior year.

As consumers become more sensitive to the declining economy and are more apt to cook at home, prepared seafood has the opportunity to continue to grow nationally.

 

This sales review is 
provided by the Perishables Group of West Dundee, Ill., an independent consulting firm focused on innnovation and creating value for clients in the fresh food industry. Reported results are 
for the 52 weeks ending Oct. 25, 2008, compiled from grocery stores nationwide, representing 61.8 percent of national supermarket ACV (all commodity volume) share. Sales data provided by Perishables Group's FreshFacts®, powered by A.C. Nielsen. For more information, contact Steve Lutz at (509) 884-2616 or steve@perishablesgroup.com

 

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