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Haddock, cod sales on the rise at UK retail

Whitefish category is being dragged down by pollock.

UK retailers sold more cod and haddock at a higher value in the 52 weeks through Aug. 12, but less pollock continued to drag down the whitefish category, according to data from market research company Nielsen.

The favorite whitefish at supermarkets continues to be cod, followed by pollock and haddock, the latter showing the highest price per kilo.

In total, supermarkets sold 48,595 metric tons of cod, up 4 percent from the same period a year earlier, worth £395.4 million (€446.9 million/$535.3 million), up 5.2 percent.

The majority of sales were frozen cod, which reached 33,332 metric tons at £211.8 million (€239.4 million/$286.7 million), up 3 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively, compared with the year prior.

Chilled cod sales amounted to less than half the volume of frozen cod sales, reaching a total of 15,225 metric tons up 7.3 percent year-on-year. However, as price is double the frozen product's price, the sold volumes made up for revenues of £183 million (€206.8 million/$247.7 million). This is an increase of 3.5 percent from the year prior.

Cod fish fingers accounted for 21.4 percent of total cod sales, with volumes of 10,468 metric tons worth £63.8 million (€72.1 million/$86.4 million), an 8.1 percent increase in terms of volume and 12.8 percent increase in terms of value.

Average prices of cod were £8.14 (€9.20/$11) per kilo over the period: frozen products were sold at an average £6.36 (€7.20/$8.60) per kilo, chilled cod prices averaged £12.03 (€13.60/$16.30) per kilo, and ambient cod prices were, on average, £12.20 (€13.80/$16.50) per kilo.

Pollock demand continues to slip

Pollock is the second most popular whitefish at UK retailers, with the vast majority of sales -- 97 percent -- made on the frozen category.

In total, supermarkets sold 29,975 metric tons of pollock in the year through Aug. 12, a decrease of 2 percent compared with the same period a year earlier.

In terms of value, pollock sales amounted to £104 million (€117.5 million/$140.8 million), down 3.4 percent from the year prior.

Pollock fish fingers accounted for half the sales of this species, with volumes amounting to 13,108 metric tons worth £52.2 million (€59 million/$70.7 million).

In terms of prices, pollock is the cheapest whitefish at UK retailers, sold on average at £4.34 (€4.90/$5.90) per kilo.

Haddock sales increase despite high prices

Haddock sales amounted to 64,946 metric tons, up 2.7 percent from a year earlier, for a value of £202.5 million (€228.9 million/$274.1 million), up 4.4 percent over the period.

It is the only whitefish species at UK supermarkets of which chilled products account for higher sales than frozen.

Consumers bought 11,937 metric tons of chilled haddock, up 1 percent compared with the same period a year earlier, and spent £143.6 million (€162.3 million/$194.4 million), 4.4 percent more than a year earlier. Average prices for haddock over the period were £10.11 (€11.40/$13.70) per kilo.

Consumers bought 8,094 metric tons of frozen haddock worth £58.9 million (€66.6 million/$79.7 million), up 9.9 percent in volume and 10 percent in value from the year prior. Average prices for chilled haddock were £12.03 (€13.60/$16.30) per kilo over the period.

Average prices for frozen haddock were £7.28 (€8.20/$9.80) per kilo.

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