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Retail Report: Prepared crab, lobster, shrimp up 10.6 percent

Crabs grab largest share of subcategory sales

prepared crustaceans

August 01, 2007

Shoppers splurge on prepared crustacean products such as crab, lobster and shrimp during the year-end holidays. This subcategory of the supermarket seafood department accounted for 2.6 percent of seafood department sales during the 52 weeks ending April 28. Nationally, the subcategory averaged $139 in weekly sales, a 10.6 percent increase from the previous year.

Weekly subcategory sales climbed steadily beginning in early November (week ending Nov. 4, 2006) and peaked the last week in December, likely elevated by both the Christmas and New Year's holidays, at an average of $312 per store.

Prepared crustacean sales dip during the summer months, when fresh fish and other traditional barbeque meats are more popular options. Subcategory weekly sales began to decline in late May (week ending May 20, 2006), reaching a low of $63 during the week ending on Sept. 30, 2006.

All regions reported an increase in average weekly sales for the year ending April 28. The East region had the highest average weekly dollar sales with $230 per store, an increase of 15 percent compared to the previous year. Although the West reported the greatest prepared crustacean contribution with 2.8 percent, it was the only region to see a decline in contribution from previous year, down 0.1 percent.

Nationally, prepared crabs held the largest share of prepared crustacean sales with 49.1 percent. Prepared shrimp captured the second highest average weekly sales with 41.7 percent, followed by prepared lobster at 7.8 percent and the "other prepared crustaceans" segment at 1.4 percent.

Driving prepared-crustacean sales, prepared-crab sales mirrored the overall subcategory trend, peaking during the last week in December 2006 at $195 per store. Prepared shrimp sales were highest the week ending March 3 at $161 per store while prepared lobster sales peaked the week ending Aug. 5, 2006, at $31 per store.


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