What is in this article?:
- BJâ€™s Announces New Seafood Sustainability Policy
- Supervalu Expands Sustainability
- FMI to Provide New Seafood Sustainability Tool Kit
- Trips to Seafood Departments Declined in 2011
Seafood sustainability has been in the news recently as BJ's and Safeway reported on developments at their chains, and FMI announced during the Boston Seafood Show that it would soon release a seafood sustainability toolkit. Also at the show was a presentation detailing last year's seafood sales.
Trips to Seafood Departments Declined in 2011
BOSTON — High retail prices have made it a tough year for volume sales in most fresh food categories.
“Consumers were basically making fewer trips that included … fresh food items in their basket,” Executive Vice President of Nielsen Perishables Group Steve Lutz said during a presentation here at the International Boston Seafood Show last week.
In 2011, seafood volume was actually hit the hardest, Lutz said, adding that a large portion of lost sales was due to customer’s substituting for other, cheaper items.
Shoppers only made an average of five trips to the seafood department in 2011, compared with 31 trips to the produce department, 25 to the meat department, 15 to the deli and 12 to the bakery, according to Lutz.
With other proteins, Lutz said customers tend to plan ahead and pick up multiple items, but that’s not the case with seafood.
Only 10% of customers make multiple seafood purchases at one time, while 43% of shoppers bought multiple produce items per trip, and 30% of shoppers picked up multiple meat department items.
On top of higher retail prices, there were fewer circular feature ads for seafood in 2011, the depth of discounts was down, and thus volume sold on promotion was down as well.
But it wasn’t all bad news for seafood in 2011. Lutz called seafood shoppers “fabulous for retailers” due to the fact seafood shoppers tend to be bigger spenders than average shoppers. Seafood customers’ average grocery trip rang up to $76.40, while the overall average basket for all shoppers’ trips was only $37.62 in 2011.
“It is the customer that a retailer really wants to cater to,” Lutz said.
And, seafood meals were one of the categories that showed growth in 2011.
“It’s a small category, but you’ve got huge numbers of new products that are surging in there, and they’re driving growth.”
In the deli department, too, seafood meals were doing well with seafood entrees up 18% in sales, sushi trays up 11% and seafood wraps up 19%.
In order to gain more sales in the seafood department, retailers might reevaluate the kinds of products they are offering.
“Seafood managers are really good at understanding what they sold last, not what they could sell next if they did it differently,” Lutz said.