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Retail Report; Shrimp tops crustacean-category sales

Ash Wednesday, Valentine's Day fuel lobster and shrimp

July 01, 2006

Crustaceans (shrimp, crabs, crawfish/crayfish and lobsters) lead the seafood department in contribution to total department dollar sales, with a national average of 40.3 percent for the 52 weeks ending March 31, 2006.

During that time, weekly sales of crustaceans averaged $1,988, up from an average of $1,850 per week per store for the same period the previous year. Peak season for crustaceans is typically November through January, coinciding with the year-end holidays; sales are also strong during the summer grilling season.

In 2005, Christmas week registered the top sales nationally for crustaceans, averaging $4,266 per week per store, more than double 
the annual weekly per-store average.

The South captured the greatest crustacean-category contribution to total sea­food-department sales during the 52 weeks, averaging 42 percent per week per store, despite posting the fewest average weekly dollars sales at $1,763 per store.

Crustacean dollar sales and contribution to total seafood dollar sales were up in all regions during the 52 weeks compared with the same period the previous year.

Across the United States, weekly store sales of shrimp averaged 71.3 percent of the crustacean category dollar share, followed by crabs at 21.8 percent, lobsters at 6.4 percent and crawfish/crayfish at 0.4 percent.

Crab dollar share peaked at 27.6 percent during the week of Ash Wednes­day/Mardi Gras 2006, more than six percentage points over the annual average.

Lobster dollar share of crustacean sales spiked during the 2006 Valentine's Day week, averaging 16.8 percent per week per store, more than double the annual average.

This sales review is provided by the Perishables Group of West Dundee, Ill., an independent consulting firm focused on innovation and creating value for clients in the fresh food industry. Reported results are for Jan. 1, 2004, through March 31, 2006, compiled from more than 16,000 stores nationwide, representing 60 percent of national supermarket ACV share. Sales data provided by A.C. Nielsen, Schaumburg, Ill. For more information, contact Steve Lutz at (509) 884-2616 or steve@perishablesgroup.com

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