UK Seafood Sales Soared Over Easter

1 June 2016, at 1:00am

UK - Sales in seafood rose substantially over 2016s Easter retail period, with chilled fish and shellfish making the biggest gains, according to new market data published by Seafish, the industry authority on seafood.

The figures showed a 6.5 per cent increase in the value of overall seafood sold in the two weeks containing Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, compared to the two weeks previous. This is a significant improvement compared to the 0.5 per cent increase in seafood sales reported in Easter 2015.

Chilled fish saw the most significant jump, with an 8.7 per cent growth in value sales during the two Easter weeks compared to the prior fortnight. Breaking the chilled market sector down further, natural and dusted seafood had the most notable surges, with sales of each rising by 14.1 per cent and 13.5 per cent respectively.

Shellfish was firmly on the menu this Easter, with consumers shelling out on their favourite crustaceans. There was an 18.5 per cent spike in sales of chilled lobster during Easter. However, this jump is less significant than in 2015, where there was a rise in sales of 22.3 per cent. Chilled crab sales also rose by 11.8 per cent, compared to 5.4 per cent last year and chilled crayfish, an increasingly popular alternative to shrimps and prawns, saw an increase of 7.9 per cent, after a sales drop of 3.2 per cent over Easter 2015.

A number of other species sold chilled saw a considerable bump in sales, with family favourites flying off the shelves in time for the Easter celebrations. Sales of chilled, natural cod rose considerably by 43.8 per cent, compared to 10.6 per cent in 2015 and sales of chilled sole jumped by 21.1 per cent, compared to an increase of 2.3 per cent last year.

Less traditional species also found consumer favour. Overall sales of basa, a type of catfish, rose by 8.9 per cent during Easter, after experiencing a 0.8 per cent dip in sales during the same period last year.

Julia Brooks, market insight analyst at Seafish comments: “Easter has always been the perfect time to enjoy seafood with your nearest and dearest, and these figures show that more and more people are choosing fresh fish as an alternative, or accompaniment to, the traditional Easter roast. As well as being a strong indicator of shifting consumer tastes, it is very encouraging to see the positive effects of retailers expanding their product ranges and championing a variety of seafood for Easter.”