How is your fresh seafood department looking? Is it ready for the increased sales projected for this year? While grocery seafood sales were down 11.4% according to a new report by the Food Marketing Institute, fresh seafood sales are up 29% since 2020 and continued to climb through 2021 and 2022.
The report finds that 59% of shoppers come in twice a week or more into their local seafood departments and are eating 55% more seafood than in previous years. Expanding and remodeling these departments, will create a positive reinforcement in these regular customers and help keep their loyalty.
Seafood department sales totaled nearly $17 billion in 2021. This jump in sales began in 2020. The report credits this growth to more shoppers cooking and preparing food at home and choosing seafood for sustainability reasons.
2021 sees this trend holding steady and increasing slightly. Rick Stein, vice president of fresh foods for FMI feels "this is in part due to more shoppers discovering seafood and learning how to cook and prepare it at home. The analysis identifies an opportunity for grocers to continue to support shoppers' seafood desires...."
Half of seafood customers are cooking more meals with fish and 73% report being much more comfortable cooking with seafood.
These numbers should all be great motivators for stores to increase their appeal to customers who are actually coming into stores to shop for foods they don't want to order online.
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