Favorable shrimp price spurs holiday sales

Published on
December 18, 2015

Thanks to lower shrimp prices – compared to the 2014 holiday season – the shellfish is being featured at many U.S. supermarket chains for a bargain this holiday season.

“We are doing pushes on bigger shrimp for customers, whereas in the past, we would have had to go to lesser sizes because of the price,” said Scott Nettles, senior director of perishables for Lubbock, Texas-based United Supermarkets, which is owned by Albertson’s. United is featuring 26/30s, cooked with tail on, for USD 6.97 (EUR 6.45) throughout the holiday season.

Plus, shrimp trays and shrimp cocktail trays, featuring three to four pounds of shrimp each, have been “flying off the shelves”, Nettles said. “We are up 50 to 75 percent in that category already [over last December],” Nettles said.

Likewise, Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Monahan’s Seafood Market is selling a lot of large shrimp for the holiday season, including a its cooked Gulf shrimp package, which retails for USD 42.95 (EUR 39.70)a pound for around 20 large shrimp.”We are the only [retailer in the area] that cleans and cooks our own shrimp, fresh every day,” said Mike Monahan, owner of Monahan’s Seafood Market.

Retailers say that, because of an improved economy this year and warmer weather throughout the U.S., seafood sales have picked up. “Holiday sales are going up every year and the economy is good this year,” Monahan said.

“The oilfield has killed us and deflation has hurt us, but seafood has held up extremely well. It’s not cheaper than the other proteins, but it has come down in price, so people are buying more,” Nettles said.

Other popular seafood items that retailers are featuring for the holiday season include:

  • Snow crab. “We have been able to take advantage of the Albertson’s/ Safeway buying power, and are expecting big sales for Christmas,” Nettles said. United is retailing snow crab clusters for USD 6.97 (EUR 6.45) per pound.
  • Oysters. Monahan’s shucks the oysters and packs up the shells and oysters to-go, so customers can place the meat back into the half shell at home.
  • Whole red snapper, grouper and other whole fish is popular this year, according to Monahan.
  • Lutefisk. Popular with Scandinavians, Monahan’s is featuring the fish throughout the holiday season.
Contributing Editor

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