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Retail Report: Holiday home preparation fuels sauce/seasonings sales

Sauces/marinades peak dollar share at Christmas, seasonings/spices/breadings tops at Easter

imitation seafood

March 01, 2007

A small yet important category in the seafood department, sauces and seasonings consists of the two subcategories sauces/marinades and seasonings/spices/breadings. The category averaged 0.20 percent of total national seafood-department dollar sales during the 52 weeks ending Dec. 31, 2006. Sauces and seasonings reported an average of $1.58 in dollar sales per week per store in 2006, which is down slightly from $1.79 in 2005.

Consumers often buy seafood sauces and seasonings for parties or celebrations and as a result, category dollar sales tend to fluctuate significantly during the holidays. In 2006, the category saw a sharp increase in average weekly sales throughout the year-end holiday season, topping off at an average of $5.64 per store during the Christmas week, followed by an average $4.08 per store during the week of New Year's Day. The Valentine's Day holiday also brought slightly elevated sales for sauces and seasonings, averaging $2.15 per week per store.

Average weekly dollar sales in the East outpaced all other regions in 2006, with $4.59 per week per store. The West was the only region to see an increase in category contribution from the previous year of 0.01 percentage points, while the East remained the same from a year ago. The seafood department experienced growth in all geographic regions; however, only the East region reported an increase in category growth with 1.5 percent over 2005. The Central region showed the sharpest decline in category growth, dropping 25.8 percent in 2006.

Across the United States in 2006, the subcategory of sauces/marinades captured 58.4 percent of dollar share, with the seasonings/sauces/breadings subcategory generating 41.6 percent of dollar sales. Sauces/marinades' peak category dollar share occurred during the Christmas week at an average of 84.2 percent, while category dollar share of seasonings/sauces/breadings topped out at 55.2 percent during the week of Easter.


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