Preparing for 2012? Look to 2011

As the first quarter of 2012 approaches, examining sales in the first quarter of 2011 can help anticipate what to expect for U.S. seafood department performance in the coming months. Given the challenging conditions throughout 2011, the first quarter of 2012 is full of hurdles but also positive factor

In the first quarter of 2011, the department’s average retail prices increased more than 7 percent versus the same period in 2010, causing supermarket sales to take a hit.

Department dollar sales decreased 1.5 percent in the first quarter, which was contrary to all other fresh departments. This decline was in line with 2010 declines; however, it was against growth trends seen between 2005 and 2009.

The most successful sales weeks for this year’s first quarter were the weeks surrounding Valentine’s Day as well as during Lent. With the exception of the Lenten season in 2011, seafood generally underperformed compared with first-quarter sales during the previous year.

Fresh seafood historically has accounted for the largest percentage of department sales, and the first quarter of 2011 held this trend. Fresh seafood comprised 79 percent of department sales, down from an 80.2 percent contribution in the same quarter of 2010.

Where fresh seafood lost dollar share, prepared seafood gained. Prepared seafood’s contribution to the department rose from 15.9 percent in the first quarter of 2010 to 17.2 percent in the first quarter of this year.

Click here to read the full story from the December issue of SeaFood Business magazine > 


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