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Retail Report: Mollusk sales up 16.7 percent

Scallops drive category sales nationwide


September 01, 2007

Mollusks, including scallops, clams, oysters and mussels, contribute a small - but growing - share of the retail shellfish category. Mollusks account for 9.6 percent of category sales and 4.7 percent of total seafood department sales. Nationally, weekly mollusk sales averaged $243 per store, a 16.7 percent increase compared to the previous year for the 52 weeks ending June 30.

Considered a splurge for most shoppers, mollusks show sharp sales spikes during holiday weeks as consumers incorporate items such as scallops and oysters into their entertainment menus. Mollusk sales peaked during Christmas week, averaging $451 per store. The subcategory posted the second-highest average weekly dollar sales during Thanksgiving, with $358 per store. Weekly sales reached an annual low during the week ending Oct. 28, 2006, with $142 per store.

The East region had the highest average weekly dollar sales with $623 per store, an increase of 16.7 percent compared to the previous year. The highest category contribution to department, with 7.4 percent, was also in the East region.

All regions experienced an increase in average weekly sales and category contribution compared to the previous year. The Central region represents the greatest opportunity for growth in the seafood department at 9 percent category contribution.

Nationally, scallops drive mollusk sales, accounting for 61.9 percent of average weekly sales. Clams captured the second highest share of average weekly sales at 17.2 percent, followed by oysters at 12.3 percent, mussels at 4.9 percent and squid at 3 percent. With a fraction of mollusk dollar share, the smaller subcategories, which include octopus, snails, conch and cuttlefish, each reported less than 1 percent of average weekly dollar sales.

The scallops subcategory saw the highest average sales at $249 per week per store during Christmas week, corresponding with the week of greatest mollusk sales. While clams reported higher average weekly dollar sales for the year than oysters, oysters were a top performing item during key holiday weeks. Oysters led mollusk sales during Thanksgiving week, averaging $214 per store, and reported the second highest average sales during Christmas week with $138 per store.



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