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Retail Report: Crab sales increase

Weekly crab sales push higher, crabmeat strengthens

July 01, 2010

The versatility of crab makes it accessible for any chef's skill level, making it an easy addition to consumers' retail shopping list. Crabs and crabmeat contributed 8.1 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively, to seafood department sales during the 52 weeks ending March 27. Crabs (whole, legs, claws, portions and clusters) had a 57.4 percent dollar share of the crustacean category, while fresh crabmeat accounted for 12.6 percent of category dollar share.

Nationally, weekly crab sales averaged $504 per store, up 30.6 percent from the prior year, as prices moderated. All regions increased in weekly dollar sales per store since the previous year. The South had the highest weekly sales, with an average of $565 per store and the highest contribution to the seafood department with 10.4 percent. The South also had the greatest increase in average dollars from the prior year, up 38.4 percent. The East region followed close behind with $558 in average weekly store sales, yet had the lowest dollar contribution to total seafood (5.4 percent). Despite strong competition from lobster and other local seafood, the East managed to increase 18.6 percent in crab dollar sales.

The West sold an average of $423 per store per week, exhibiting the lowest growth rate of all the regions at 14.4 percent since the prior year, with an average of 8.2 percent contribution to department. Finally, the Central region sold $393 of crab per store per week, increasing 25.4 percent from prior year, and 7.2 percent contribution to department.

Crabmeat sales (including lump, back fin and claw meat) averaged $111 per store per week nationally, up 17 percent from the prior year. The East region had the highest weekly sales, with an average of $221 per store, with the greatest growth of 20.5 percent from prior year. The South followed with $133 in average weekly store sales, up 15.3 percent. The Central region increased weekly sales 10.1 percent to $38 per store per week. The lowest crabmeat sales were in the West region, at an average of $36, up 12.8 percent from prior year.

Historically, weekly crabmeat sales peak in the last calendar quarter due to the year-end holidays. The week of Christmas boasted the highest weekly sales at $297, a decline of 2 percent from the prior year. Crabmeat sales were lowest during the week of April 25, at $70 per store.


This sales review is provided by the Perishables Group in Chicago, an independent consulting firm focused on innovation and creating value for clients in the fresh food industry. Reported results are for March 28, 2009, through Mar. 27, 2010, compiled from grocery stores nationwide, representing 63.4 percent of national supermarket ACV share. For more information, contact Kelli Beckel; phone: (773) 929-7013; e-mail:kellib@perishablesgroup.com


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