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November 14, 2013

United States

 “USA Shrimp Consumption Will Continue to Fall”

John Sackton

 

In the United States, at the retail level, shrimp is the biggest single driver of seafood sales.  Many retail outlets depend on shrimp for about 40% of their total revenue.  These outlets are about to take a big hit.  Seafood.com, an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service, using data from Urner Barry, which reports on meat and seafood prices, predicts that overall shrimp promotions will be down about 16% this year.  John Sackton, editor and publisher at Seafood.com, made this prediction based on comparisons of weekly, store-level promotions in the fall 2012 and 2013.

 

Sackton said:  “The data show significantly lower volumes of retail shrimp promotions in almost every week.  ...Naturally there is a big jump in shrimp promotions after Thanksgiving.  But this year, that promotional peak will be well below where it was in 2012.  Retailers have also been hesitant to pass along the...price increases...in the shrimp market.  Using raw 31-40 count shrimp as an example, the median promotional price ranged from $5.99 to $6.99 during the period from September to December 2012.  For 2013, the retail price has been $7.99, an increase of 26%.  Meanwhile, wholesale prices of raw 31-40 shell on shrimp have gone from $3.65 in September 2012 to $6.10 in November 2013, an increase of nearly 70%.  ...The problem is that there is no obvious way for retailers to make up for this lost volume and sales.  Even though there have been some increases in promotion on other items, nothing can substitute for the role of shrimp in the retail case.”

 

The net result is that unlike earlier years of the recession, when seafood departments remained a very profitable bright spot as customers traded down to less expensive seafood items, this year it seems that there will simply be no real substitutes, and the net result is going to be extreme pressure on the margins and profits of seafood departments.”

 

“We have already seen...a significant drop in shrimp consumption.   Our expectation is that the poor retail outlook we foresee for the holidays will exacerbate this problem in 2013, and total USA shrimp consumption will continue to fall.”

 

Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service).  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email jsackton@seafood.com).  Retail Shrimp Promotions Expected to Be Down About 16% for the Holidays; Department Profits Hit.  John Sackton.  November 12, 2013.

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