Salmon a top seller at US grocery stores despite inflation squeeze

Salmon remains "absolute powerhouse" in US fresh seafood sales, doubles all others.

by | August 3, 2022

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Big surge in salmon sales as other species flounder

Salmon remains as one of the top-selling seafood items in U.S. grocery stores despite rising prices in recent months.

SeafoodSource reports that salmon sales jumped 9.3 percent to more than $2.5 billion. That’s despite the price per pound jumping 18.2% to $11.35 for the four weeks ending June 26.

“The growth in sales came despite inflation impacting overall fresh seafood sales, which dropped 6.2 percent to nearly $6.7 billion for the four weeks ending July 10, according to IRI and 210 Analytics,” SeafoodSource said.

Salmon was the top-selling seafood species in U.S. supermarkets in the second quarter of 2022, with sales up 9.1%.

Crab sales dropped 34.2% in dollar terms but remained the second-biggest seller by value in the second quarter, followed by shrimp, lobster, cod, and catfish.

Salmon volume fell 7.2 percent in the second quarter, but still accounted for 60 million pounds worth of volume in U.S. grocery stores.

“While fresh seafood is under severe pressure, salmon remains an absolute powerhouse. [The] salmon [market] is more than twice the size of the next-largest species in both dollars and volume.”

Anne-Marie Roerink of global market tracker 210 Analytics
Credit: Kwee-Jack Fish Company

Excitement about wild salmon

U.S. customers took advantage of the declining price of farmed salmon, which is coming off its record high set earlier this year, SeafoodSource said. Meanwhile, U.S. grocers have been working to create excitement about seasonal, wild sockeye salmon from Copper River, Prince William Sound, and Bristol Bay.

“This means salmon can still move the needle on a planned or unplanned purchases,” Roerink said. “Grocery stores are looking for something different that catches their shoppers’ eyes. That’s what the return of wild salmon season does. It gives the seafood department some great social media tidbits, [and] in-store, it allows associates to engage with shoppers. It’s that kind of energy that tends to be contagious.”

Read more about Bristol Bay sockeye salmon promotions in more than 3,200 stores across the U.S. and other sales inroads here.

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About Laine

Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She also has worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and on Cape Cod.


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