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Retail Report: Summer strengthens salmon sales

More than one-third of all finfish sales are salmon


April 01, 2010

EDITOR's NOTE: The following salmon sales numbers include both wild and farmed product. Not all retailers specify harvest method when reporting salmon sales figures.

Salmon had a successful year in 2009, gaining dollar sales in U.S. supermarkets. The omega-3-fatty-acid-rich fish contributed 12.4 percent to seafood department sales during the 52 weeks ending Dec. 26 and accounted for a 35.5 percent dollar share of the finfish 
category nationwide. The average retail price for salmon was up 5.6 percent in 2009 compared to 2008, contributing to the growth in salmon sales dollars.

National weekly salmon sales averaged $760 per store, up 4.6 percent from the prior year. The highest average weekly salmon sales were in the East at $1,073 per store, up 1.4 percent. The Central region had the largest increase in average weekly store sales from the prior year, up 6.9 percent to $726 per store. The West sold above the national weekly average at $912 per store, with an increase of 4.1 percent compared to the previous year. Finally, the South saw the lowest average weekly dollar sales at $548 per store, up 6.7 percent from the prior year, as well as the lowest dollar contribution to total seafood dollar sales at 10.3 percent.

Salmon had the largest dollar contribution to the seafood department in the West at 18.1 percent. The Central region followed with 13.6 percent dollar contribution to department, and while the East had the highest average sales, the salmon subcategory contributed just 10.6 percent to seafood department dollars, as other finfish species like cod are more popular in the region.

The various wild salmon seasons are staggered throughout the spring, summer and fall. Salmon sales peaked during the summer grilling season. Dollar sales peaked the week of July 4 at $986 per store.

It is interesting also to observe trends in average retail price and volume sold on promotion. During the week of Feb. 28 (corresponding with Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent), and the week of March 7, salmon sales reached $864 and $884 per store, respectively. That week, 49.4 percent of volume was sold during promotion; the lowest average retail price of $5.84 per pound was also posted that week. Easter helped salmon sales spike the week of April 11 at $860 per store, as 41.1 percent of volume sold was on promotion. The lowest sales occurred the week of Thanksgiving at $531 per store, when consumers turned to traditional holiday staples in the meat department.


This sales review is provided by the Perishables Group, Inc. (PG), Chicago, an independent consulting firm focused on innovation and creating value for clients in the fresh food industry. Reported results are for Dec. 28, 2008, through Dec. 26, 2009, compiled from grocery stores nationwide, representing 63.4 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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