Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 13

W
hile fresh seafood sales
spiked in 2021, the
outlook for the rest of
Chilean farmed salmon prices have
2022 is uncertain with inflation
and supply chain pressures.
Fresh seafood sales rose 4%
in 2021 compared to 2020 and
30.8% versus 2019, reaching a
record $7.1 billion, according to
IRI and 210 Analytics.
" Fresh and frozen seafood retail
sales reached new records in 2021,
boosted by robust demand as well as
inflation, " 210 Analytics Principal AnneMarie
Roerink said.
However, supermarket buyers and analysts
are concerned about inflation's impact on seafood
sales this year. Food-at-home prices soared 7.4% over the
past year in January, and 1% compared to December, according
to US Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index (CPI) data.
Already in January, fresh seafood sales dropped 7.3% for the
first four weeks of the month, while units fell 16.3% and volume
dropped 15.9%, according to IRI and 210 Analytics.
" The first four weeks were a bit of a struggle. We are now
going up against the two biggest years in grocery retailing ever, "
Roerink said.
Inflation is still a complete unknown this year, said Shawn Oliver,
seafood category manager for Giant Eagle. Oliver said he cannot
predict whether fresh seafood sales will continue to grow this year,
as it " really depends on the pricing. "
While luxury items like crab and lobster have been priced very
high over the last year, farmed salmon and shrimp prices remained
fairly steady. But that may be changing this year.
risen around 15% since the start of
the year, due to a massive algae
bloom, said Oliver, who expects
prices to continue to rise
through March.
" Due to a lack of supply in
the market, it is also driving up
the cost of Canadian Atlantic
salmon, " Oliver said.
Roger O'Brien, president
and CEO of distributor, retailer,
and cafe operator Santa Monica
Seafood, said the company's
executives " definitely see high inflation
continuing throughout 2022. "
The spread of the omicron variant of
COVID-19 also threatens to worsen shortages of
labor and supplies which, in turn, will only drive an increase in
consumer-price inflation, O'Brien said.
" And we've already learned this year that restaurants, and even
grocery retailers, will remove various seafood items from their
menus and shelves if the prices get too high, " O'Brien said. " Luckily
for seafood, the increase in prices for meats and other proteins is
worse than it has been for seafood. "
Roerink expects continued inflation across all grocery
categories, not just seafood.
" I'm not a supply chain expert, but across categories, those who
are tell me that there is no immediate end in sight, " Roerink said.
" One factor, COVID, is impossible to predict and an added layer on
uncertainty. "
Inflation " puts more pressure on the purchase, but with fresh
seafood buyers being higher income, perhaps that will help with
having a bit less economic pressure, " Roerink added.
Plus, inflation for seafood is not outpacing that of other meal
ingredient or center-of-plate proteins.
" Now is the time to press harder on health, convenience,
SALES LEAPS
Fresh finfish sales climbed 6.4% in 2021
compared to 2020 and 25.5% from 2019.
Fresh shellfish sales rose .5% from
2020 and 37.6% from 2019.
availability and confidence, and - if possible - promotions to
drive trial, " Roerink said.
Roerink also notes the continuing trend of preparing seafood
at home, along with " continued strength in convenience and
entertaining, such as value-added, seafood platters, etc. "
During times of high inflation, frozen food sales typically
strengthen, " so I wouldn't be surprised to see more mixing and
matching of fresh and frozen, " Roerink said.
Key to boosting sales this year will be carrying a variety of
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Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022

Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - Intro
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 2
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 3
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 4
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 5
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 6
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 7
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 8
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 9
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 10
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 11
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 12
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 13
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 14
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 15
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 16
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 17
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 18
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 19
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 20
Supermarket Perimeter - March 2022 - 21
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