For years, Americans have been encouraged to eat seafood more often as it’s a good source of protein, vitamins and nutrients – plus it’s low in calories and saturated fat. The health benefits are helping to drive the demand for fish at a faster pace than beef, pork and poultry.

The 6.2 percent increase in U.S. per capita seafood consumption in 2015 was the biggest jump in over 20 years. Plus, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Americans increased their seafood consumption by nearly 1 pound per person in 2015, to an average of 15.5 pounds for the year.

In the recent Progressive Grocer’s 2017 Retail Seafood Review, over half of respondents expected seafood sales to increase this year. Even so, Americans still fall short of dietary recommendations of 8 ounces of seafood per week (24 pounds/year), which means there’s room to grow.

However, many grocers saw declines last year in some higher priced seafood categories and consumption increases in 2017 could be impacted by price changes. They noted that shrimp helped boost fresh seafood volume last year due, in part, to an average retail price decline of 9 percent.

If the tide continues to rise for seafood (U.S. wild-caught seafood, in particular), prices could as well and Category Managers will need to navigate accordingly.


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