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Boxes of haddock. (Photo Copyright: FIS)

Easter seafood sales hit record high in three years

  (UNITED KINGDOM, 7/4/2017)

During the Easter fortnight 6,051.6 tonnes of seafood were sold in the United Kingdom (UK), representing a 3.2 per cent growth since 2015, according to new market data published by Seafish.

There was also a 0.7 per cent growth in volume of the fish sold in the UK during the two-weeks over Easter compared to the fortnight prior, which is the biggest growth in three-years for the comparable fortnights.

Good value options such as warm water prawn, basa, haddock, cod, crabstick, sea bass, plaice, trout and whitebait have all proved popular over Easter, increasing their volume sales from both the previous fortnight and Easter 2016.

Seafish statistics have also revealed that replicating Christmas consumption trends, fresh fish topped the segments in terms of increasing volume sales (0.3 per cent) and sales value (7.6 per cent) on Easter 2016 sales, with total sales at over GBP 85 million.

In comparison to the fortnight before Easter, volume sales increased by 1.4 per cent, while sales value also rose by 4.1 per cent.

The frozen sector saw volume sales grow by 0.2 per cent and sales value rise by 5.8 per cent to GBP 28.5 million, compared to Easter last year.

When compared with the two-weeks before Easter, an increase was seen across all measures - sales value increased 4.2 per cent and volume by 0.6 per cent.

Ambient fish was the only sector to experience a dip in volume sales compared to Easter 2016 (-5.3 per cent), despite rising values sales by 5.8 per cent to over GBP 16.6 million.

The sector also experienced a decrease in volume sales (0.6 per cent) compared to the fortnight prior to Easter, but value sales increased by 0.9 per cent.

Whitebait had the most significant percentage uplift (629.8 per cent), with the tiny members of the herring family selling nine tonnes, compared to one tonne last Easter.

Snapper saw the biggest percentage increase in volume sales compared to the fortnight before Easter with a 74.9 per cent rise, from 1.5 to 2.7 tonnes.

"It's clear from this data that the tradition of enjoying fresh fish at Easter, such as a haddock and cod, is still going strong. With Easter 2017 occurring later in the year, fish sales benefitted from not just the Easter spike, but also the normal spring seasonal uplift,” pointed out Julia Brooks, Market Insight Analyst at Seafish.

Brooks also explained that the high increase in whitebait consumption was a trend noted at Christmas which appears to have continued throughout 2017.

"In addition, we've seen certain species, such as basa, making a splash this year. This could be down to consumers looking for a cheaper alternative to traditional staples such as cod, haddock and monkfish," the analyst concluded. 


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