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Retail Report: Shellfish sales up more than 8 percent

Shrimp commands almost 65 percent of retail category


June 01, 2007

Shellfish, including the most popular species, shrimp, represents the largest category in the supermarket seafood department, accounting for 47.6 percent of category dollar sales during the 52 weeks ending March 31. Nationally, shellfish, averaged $2,515 per week per store, an 8.9 percent increase compared to the previous year.

Peak shellfish sales occur during holiday weeks as consumers splurge on popular items such as shrimp and crab legs for parties and other festivities. Category sales reach a high point during Christmas week, averaging $4,897 per store. The week before Christmas and the weeks of New Year's and Fourth of July also reported above-average sales for the category. After showing a slight spike during Easter week, shellfish sales declined to an annual low of $1,900 per store during the week of April 30, 2006.

All regions experienced an increase in average weekly dollar sales compared to the previous year. During the 52 weeks ending March 31, the East had the highest average weekly dollar sales with $4,175 per store, an increase of 6.7 percent compared to the previous year. Shellfish commanded almost half of the department sales in the Eastern region sea-food department.

The South posted the second highest percentage of shellfish dollar sales at 49 percent. However, the region saw the lowest average weekly dollar sales with $2,134 per store. With category contribution well below the national percentage at 42.9 percent, the Central region represents the greatest opportunity for the seafood department.

Nationally, shrimp dominates shellfish sales. The subcategory accounted for 64.6 percent of category dollar sales during the 52 weeks ending March 31, followed by crab at 19.8 percent, lobster at 6.2 percent, scallops at 5.2 percent and clams at 1.7 percent. With a fraction of category dollar share, the smaller subcategories including mussels, crawfish/crayfish, squid and octopus reported 0.5 percent, 0.4 percent, 0.3 percent and 0.1 percent of average weekly dollar sales, respectively.

Shrimp, crabs and lobster are driving shellfish sales. All three subcategories saw significant sales spikes during peak sales weeks for the category, while sales of the smaller subcategories remained unchanged.


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