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Euromonitor: French consumers shelling out more for processed seafood

Smoked salmon prices in particular drive up value sales.

Volume sales of processed seafood saw a slowdown in 2016, but higher prices pushed up the value of those sales by 2 percent, according to new statistics from Euromonitor International.

The figures put the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) at similar rates to the previous five years, but a recovery in smoked salmon bucked the trend.

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Chilled processed seafood, which includes smoked salmon, had the sharpest value growth in 2016. Despite sluggish volume, smoked salmon posted value growth of 3 percent.

Though salmon has become increasingly affordable and more widespread as a fish to eat and its consumption is growing, global supply issues in 2016 drove up prices, a trend that has continued into the first half of 2017. 

The higher prices could affect sales at the end of the year for Christmas and New Year's, when smoked salmon is heavily consumed in France.

French consumers have paid increasing attention to negative media reports on the aquaculture sector, which has given a boost to organic labeling and wild salmon.

In response to consumers’ concerns, three manufacturers -- Guyader, MerAlliance, and Delpeyrat -- are developing an independent certification process allowing a new label, Saumon Fumé Supérieur (Superior Smoked Salmon) on their packaging.

Unit prices on the rise

The average unit price for processed seafood at French retail increased by 2 percent in 2016.

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Despite price competition and promotions that typically characterize consumer goods, dynamic innovations within the chilled, processed value-added and smoked salmon sector contributed to the increase in the average unit price.

Economy brands and private labels, meanwhile, are suffering, because the gap between the prices of private label and brands has narrowed considerably. As a result, private label has lost its appeal and, most of all, is failing to deliver reassurance needed by consumers about manufacturing processes, quality and origins of the product. National brands are benefiting as a result of this anxiety.

Processed seafood is expected to see steady growth in the 2016 – 2021 forecast period. The category is set to record a growth of 2 percent at constant 2016 prices, which is higher than the 2011 – 2016 review period of 1 percent. The development of durable new growth drivers such as organic, halal, the health segment with low fat and salt, the well-known Label Rouge and sustainable labels will maintain steady growth.


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