Acme, Kvaroy, Ocean Beauty aim to reinvigorate smoked salmon sales

After a difficult year for smoked salmon sales, seafood suppliers are capitalizing on growing trends to breathe some life into the category
A sandwich featuring Kvaroy Arctic smoked salmon
A sandwich featuring Kvaroy Arctic smoked salmon | Photo courtesy of Kvaroy
4 Min

Smoked salmon sales struggled over the past year despite the the categories' gains elsewhere, but new products from Kvaroy Arctic, Ocean Beauty, and Acme Smoked Fish aim to draw new customers to the category in 2024 to reverse the trend.

Sales of smoked salmon declined 7.2 percent year over year across all retailers in the fourth quarter of 2023, per Circana OmniMarket Integrated Fresh data. Specifically, frozen smoked salmon sales dropped 16.9 percent, refrigerated smoked salmon sales declined 7 percent, and shelf-stable smoked salmon sales fell slightly, dipping 1.6 percent.

“Smoked salmon has struggled, and part of it’s due to seafood seeing a decline in occasional buyers. In general, about 45 percent of the volume is bought by the top 10 percent of customers, but some of the occasional buyers have slipped,” Executive Vice President of Circana’s Fresh Foods Practice Chris DuBois said.

To regain some volume in 2024, DuBois believes suppliers and retailers should turn some of their marketing focus toward entertaining-at-home opportunities. 

“Entertaining at home has been the source of growth for a lot of categories in the deli, and party trays are a great example. We’re now seeing strong growth not only in supermarkets but convenience stores for deli trays,” DuBois said.

Another example of entertaining-at-home trends in the seafood space that have grown in popularity is charcuterie, or “seacuterie,” boards that align with the general growth of snacking and convenience products. 

Capitalizing on these trends, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.-based Acme Smoked Fish recently launched “Lox in a Box” snack kits. The kits include two options: smoked salmon with cream cheese or smoked salmon with a guacamole spread, both of which come with artisanal crackers and a utensil “so it can be enjoyed anywhere from the picnic table to the conference room,” Acme stated in a press release. The new product was recently named a finalist in the 2024 Seafood Excellence Awards. 

Similarly, Indre Kvarøy, Norway-based farmed salmon supplier Kvarøy Arctic is launching its first smoked salmon product produced under its own label, with plans to market it as an ingredient in many different dishes or as a quick, healthy snack, Kvarøy Arctic Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Bushman said.

After previously utilizing its partnership with food manufacturer Santa Barbara Smokehouse to produce smoked salmon, Kvaroy, although continuing to collaborate with Santa Barbara Smokehouse, now has the opportunity to ...

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