FMI—The Food Industry Association has released the 2021 Power of Seafood, which finds the seafood department was a leading driver in the percentage of increased grocery sales in 2020, with a 28.4 percent increase in sales. This exceeded the sales growth of the produce, meat or deli departments. In total, seafood (fresh, frozen, canned, pouches, etc.) generated more than $16.6 billion in sales for food retailers in 2020.
Insights from the report find the biggest reason for increased seafood consumption is consumers are trying to eat healthier (59 percent).
“The analysis suggests an urgency for food retailers to expand their seafood programs to help sustain consumer awareness of this protein that has emerged in popularity as a result of the pandemic,” said Rick Stein, VP of fresh foods for FMI. “The call to action among grocers is to focus on seafood nutrition, cooking guidance, meal ideas and sustainability both in-store and online as ways to maintain shopper interest in seafood.”
Meet shoppers’ nutritional desires
The Power of Seafood 2021 finds 72 percent of frequent seafood consumers are putting more effort into making healthy and nutritious choices since the pandemic. At the same time, 74 percent of seafood consumers and 43 percent of non-seafood consumers want to become more knowledgeable about the nutritional benefits of seafood. Seafood is a major source of healthful omega-3 fats and is also rich in nutrients such as vitamin D and selenium, high in protein and low in saturated fat.
Offer shoppers seafood cooking guidance
More consumers (36 percent) in general, and specifically more seafood consumers (53 percent), say they are cooking more meals with seafood during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, most seafood consumers (75 percent) want to be more knowledgeable about how to cook, prepare and flavor seafood. Some survey respondents report looking to food retailers’ seafood departments for guidance (20 percent), as well as grocery store websites or apps (18 percent). However, there is more food retailers can do to become a go-to-resource.
Showcase seafood sustainability
The Power of Seafood 2021 finds 41 percent seafood consumers, up from 29 percent in 2019, say sustainable seafood certifications have a major impact on their seafood purchases. In fact, 71 percent want to be more knowledgeable about seafood sustainability.
In addition to these focus areas, the report outlines a new emerging seafood consumer as outlined in the How The Seafood Shopper Has Changed video. The Power of Seafood 2021 was conducted by FMI and made possible by Veramaris.