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Nielsen supermarket report: Crab sales soar, up nearly 10%

Retail data show crab has been enjoying strong sales in supermarkets, especially over the Christmas and Valentine's Day holidays.

During the 52 weeks ending December 27, 2014, the crab category at US supermarkets accounted for 5.3% of total seafood dollar sales. Crab was the highest selling crustacean variety, accounting for 50.2% of crustacean dollar sales during the the 52-week period — followed by lobster, crabmeat, and crawfish/crayfish). Crab sales increased 9.7% compared to the prior year, to $378 per store per week. Unlike other crustacean varieties such as lobster, average retail pricing for crab rose modestly during this period, increasing 2.9% from the previous year.

An analysis of supermarket crab sales by region shows the South is clearly in control. Click on chart to enlarge.

In 2014, crab sales were highest during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and spiked again the week of Valentine’s Day. The highest selling week for crab was the week of Christmas (the week ending December 27, 2014) with sales of $852 per store. The week of New Year’s (the week ending Jan. 4, 2014) was the second highest-selling week for crab, at $848 per store. The week of Valentine’s Day was the third highest-selling week for crab, at $547 per store. The lowest-selling week for crab occurred the week ending November 1, 2014, at $226 per store.

Regionally, crab posted the largest contribution to seafood sales in the South at 6.5%. The South region also posted the highest average weekly sales at $462 per store, up nearly 10% compared to the previous year. The East region posted the second highest average sales at $381 per store per week, up 4.4% compared to the previous year. The West region posted the lowest average weekly crab sales at $268, however, the West also posted the largest increase in average dollar sales, up 12.4% compared to the previous year.

This sales review is provided by Nielsen Perishables Group. Based in Chicago, Nielsen Perishables Group specializes in retail measurement, analytics, marketing communications, category development, promotional best practices and shopper insights. FreshFacts Point-of-Sale Data: 52 weeks ending 12/27/14 key U.S. grocery, mass/supercenter and club chains. For more information, contact Nielsen Perishables Group:  773.929.7013.