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Retail Report: Salmon sales surge

Wild, farmed salmon position weighs heavily on retailers

salmon - Photo courtesy of B.C. Salmon Marketing

August 01, 2008

With per-capita salmon consumption at 2.36 pounds in 2007, according to National Marine Fisheries Service data, it may be no surprise that salmon sales account for a significant percentage of fresh retail seafood sales. (Neither government figures or Perishables Group data is able to provide sales of wild vs. farmed salmon.)

Salmon represents 13 percent of seafood department sales nationwide. Drilling down into the finfish category, salmon accounted for an average 36.9 percent of dollar share, the largest in the category. Nationally, weekly salmon sales averaged $721 per store for the 52 weeks ending April 26, up 11.1 percent from the same time period the previous year.

Peak season for salmon sales is during the summer months, when wild salmon is at its highest quality and coincides with grilling season. The week of July 7, 2007, registered the highest national salmon sales, averaging $974 per store, up from $815 for the same time period the previous year. Salmon sales declined slightly during the rest of the year. For the week of Nov. 24, 2007, average weekly sales reached an annual low of $495 per store, up from $448 for the same time period the previous year.

The Eastern region had the highest average weekly sales per store, at $1,019, up approximately 10.5 percent from the previous year. However, sales in the East represented only 11.8 percent of total seafood department dollars compared to the West with 18.9 percent. The West had the second highest average weekly sales at $914 per store, which is in part due to the more expensive wild salmon supply that hits the region in early and mid-summer.

The week of July 7, 2007, saw the highest salmon weekly sales per store for the Central, East and South regions at $977, $1,369 and $612, respectively. The week of June 17, 2007, had the highest salmon sales for the West at $1,440, which coincides with the early season salmon sales from Alaska, including the Copper River run. For these same weeks compared to the previous year, the Central, East, South and West regions' dollar sales were up 20 percent, 21.9 percent, 12.2 percent and 29 percent, respectively.

Salmon contribution to total seafood sales and weekly sales per store increased in all regions. The South region reported the biggest increase (13.5 percent) in weekly sales per store versus the same time period the previous year; while the West reported the lowest salmon increase (9.3 percent) in weekly sales per store versus the same time period the previous year.


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 on April 26, 2008, compiled from grocery stores nationwide, representing 62.1 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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