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FMI Report: Seafood Sales Return To Pre-Pandemic Level

FMI seafood report

During Seafood Expo North America, FMI – The Food Industry Association released its “Power of Seafood 2024 report, which found seafood volume and dollar amounts have decreased, however, consumers are choosing to cook seafood dishes at home. 

With these shifts in purchasing and consumption, food retailers can attract seafood shoppers by emphasizing nutrition, sustainability and offering meal ideas.

“While overall consumption levels have dropped, more consumers are enjoying seafood at home,” said Rick Stein, VP of fresh foods for FMI. 

“Factors such as inflation-driven prices (37 percent) or seafood’s cost relative to other proteins (28 percent) are influential drivers. As inflationary pressures decline, we’ll expect to see more consumers return to seafood, especially if retailers offer easy ways to enjoy seafood sustainably, easily and healthfully.”

Home cooked seafood rises

With the rise in home cooking, seafood has emerged as a popular choice for its taste and nutrition. The “Power of Seafood 2024″ survey revealed that home-cooked seafood constitutes 59 percent of consumption, up from 53 percent last year, while restaurant-prepared seafood meals declined from 47 percent to 41 percent. 

At the same time, 39 percent of seafood customers seek advice from the seafood counter for meal ideas, indicating growing interest in home seafood preparation. Retailers should use this trend by enticing consumers with specials, sampling, recipe ideas and highlighting seafood’s health benefits.

Emphasizing nutrition, sustainability

Consumer insights underscore the importance of nutrition and health in driving seafood consumption. Two-thirds of seafood consumers (66 percent) prioritize nutrition and health, with frequent seafood consumers showing an even higher inclination (78 percent). This sentiment is echoed across diverse demographics, with widespread acknowledgment of seafood’s health benefits. 

Retailers can highlight the benefits of seafood as a heart-healthy choice, high-quality protein and source of beneficial Omega-3s, emphasizing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommends consuming two servings of seafood weekly. 

In addition to nutrition, 74 percent of seafood shoppers value sustainability when choosing their primary seafood store, suggesting that retailers who address pricing concerns while offering a sustainable, quality product will cultivate loyal seafood consumers for years to come.

“This report illuminates the nuanced motivations behind Americans’ seafood consumption habits,” said Steve Markenson, VP of research and insights for FMI. 

“While price remains a factor, it’s encouraging to see a strong preference for seafood even when cost barriers are removed. This speaks volumes about the intrinsic value consumers place on seafood’s nutritional benefits and underscores the importance of retailers prioritizing quality and sustainability to meet consumer expectations.”

The “Power of Seafood 2024” report is made possible by Cargill.

About FMI

As the food industry association, FMI works with and on behalf of the entire industry to advance a safer, healthier and more efficient consumer food supply chain. 

FMI brings together a range of members across the value chain – from retailers that sell to consumers, to producers that supply food and other products, as well as a wide variety of companies providing critical services – to amplify the collective work of the industry.

Read more association news from The Shelby Report.

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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