« July 2008 Table of Contents
Retail Report: Tilapia sales gain momentum
July 01, 2008
Tilapia is the fifth-most popular fish in the United States
according to per-capita consumption figures, which explains why
it's one of the fastest-growing species in the retail seafood
department. Tilapia is the fifth largest sub-category within
the seafood department, accounting for 5.5 percent of seafood
department sales during the 52 weeks ending March 29.
During that time, weekly tilapia sales averaged $305 per
store, a 17.6 percent increase from the previous year. Tilapia
sales grew faster than the overall seafood department, which
saw year-over-year growth of 6.8 percent.
Sales fluctuations are mostly due to consumer demand.
Tilapia sales peaked during January and March, probably due to
New Year's "healthy eating" resolutions and Lent. Tilapia sales
peaked during the week of Jan. 12 at $393 per store. Sales
bottomed out in November and December, when meat products such
as turkey and ham are traditionally served at holiday
The East and South regions both surpassed the national
weekly sales average of $305 per store. The East had the
highest average weekly sales at $366 per store, with the South
following closely behind at $355. The weakest sales were in the
West, which averaged weekly sales of $184 per store, followed
by the Central region's $295 per store. The South contributed
the most to overall department sales with 7.3 percent.
Both the South and Central regions present retail
opportunities for tilapia. While the South ranked second in
average weekly sales, it saw the largest percentage increase in
average yearly sales with 14.7 percent growth over the previous
year. The Central region, however, saw the largest dollar
growth in tilapia sales, with an 18.8 percent increase in
weekly sales per store compared to a year ago.
Nationally, tilapia accounted for 15.7 percent of finfish
sales, behind salmon at 37 percent. Catfish also accounted for
a significant portion of finfish weekly sales with 10.4
percent. The remaining 36.9 percent of sales in the finfish
category comprised cod/scrod, tuna, haddock, flounder,
swordfish, halibut, roughy, whiting, trout, snapper and