UK's 2024 retail market looking stronger for seafood suppliers

Value retailers continue showing growth in the country as grocery prices stabilize
A Sainsbury's store in Wolverhampton, England
A Sainsbury's store in Wolverhampton, England | Photo courtesy of Richard OD/Shutterstock
4 Min

With U.K. grocery inflation hitting its lowest point in almost two years, British grocery chains featuring more domestic seafood, and value retailers continuing to grow sales, all signs are pointing toward a better market in 2024 for U.K. seafood suppliers.

U.K. grocery price inflation fell to 5.3 percent in February – the lowest rate seen in the country since March 2022 and a decrease of 1.5 percent month over month, according to Kantar. The data and analytics company reported take-home grocery sales grew in value by 5.1 percent for the four weeks ending 18 February.

“Things are looking up for shoppers this February. Consumers have been navigating a grocery inflation rate of more than 4 percent for two years now, so this latest easing of price rises is especially welcome,” Kantar Strategic Insight Director Tom Steel said in a press release.

Negative global events like the Red Sea shipping crisis will most likely affect the cost of goods indefinitely, but supermarkets have been “pulling out all the stops to keep prices down and help people manage their budgets,” Steel said.

Morrisons announced a price match program with Aldi and Lidl, after Asda made a similar move in January, as U.K. retailers work to keep prices low.

Retailers are also working to champion seafood in new promotional efforts. Sainsbury’s has committed to featuring more domestic seafood in order to “better champion and profile British-grown and -produced products with its millions of online customers,” the retailer said.

Sainsbury’s campaign spotlights more than 450 British-sourced grocery products,  including a number of Sainsbury’s own-label seafood items such as Marine Stewardship Council-certified mussels from Scotland and Scottish salmon certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, a spokesperson told SeafoodSource.

“Many of our customers want to support British suppliers and make more conscious choices when doing their food shop,” Sainsbury’s CEO Simon Roberts said.

Sainsbury's works with more than 15,000 British farmers to source GBP 2 billion (USD 2.5 billion, EUR 2.3 billion) worth of produce annually. Sainsbury’s said it encourages customers to buy British-sourced products through labeling and packaging, including signage highlighting items of U.K. origin in over 1,000 of its larger stores.

In their own promotional pushes of domestic products, Aldi and Lidl launched “Best of British” sections on their websites in late January.

Kantar said consumer spending on promotions grew by ... 

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