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Retail Report: Catfish sales outpaced by overall finfish sales

Weekly per-store catfish sales unchanged from 2006 to 2007


April 01, 2008

Seafood department catfish sales are flat, averaging $203 per week per store during the 52 weeks ending Dec. 29, 2007, unchanged from the same period in 2006. Conversely, weekly finfish sales were up 9.3 percent through Sept. 29, 2007, to $1,894 per store. Catfish represents 10.5 percent of finfish sales nationwide, and finfish is the second largest category in the seafood department behind shellfish, accounting for 34.9 percent of seafood department sales.

Across the country, catfish experienced above average sales during the first three months of the year and peaked the week of March 3, 2007, with average sales of $291 per store, up from $272 the previous year. Weekly catfish sales remained consistent throughout the rest of the year, approaching $200 per store. For the week of Dec. 29, average weekly sales reached an annual low of $141 per store, down from $144 the previous year.

The Central region had the highest average weekly catfish sales, with $296 per store, above the national average but down from $304 the previous year. The Central region also leads in catfish contribution to total seafood department sales, averaging 5.7 percent in 2007. But it was down 0.8 percentage points from the previous year.

As consumers purchase more seafood during Lent, it's no surprise that weekly catfish sales in all four regions peaked in March.

The fresh catfish supply is elevated at the beginning of the year following reduced demand through the holiday season; retailers capitalize on this by boosting sales in the spring. The week of March 3 saw the highest weekly catfish sales per store for both the South and West regions at $349 and $221, respectively. The week of March 10 saw the highest catfish sales per store for the Central region at $404, while sales in the East region hit $203 for the week of March 17. Compared to the previous year, sales in the Central region were down 16.4 percent, while the East, South and West regions were up 54.6 percent, 17.8 percent and 16 percent, respectively.


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 Dec. 30, 2006, through Dec. 29, 2007, compiled from grocery stores nationwide, representing 63.5 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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