ANALYSIS - Its good news for the Irish seafood retail market which is now worth €192 million a year, up €3.6 million from 2012. Fresh fish is proving particularly popular (up seven per cent) with salmon, hake, cod and prawns still firm favourites.
Fish sales in Ireland are growing as more shoppers are purchasing it more frequently over other protein sources, such as lamb and pork.
According to the Irish Retail Seafood Sales report, the fresh fish sector grew in 2012 due to shoppers spending more on fish, buying bigger volumes and purchasing more often. Government led promotions also helped to increase sales in this sector.
A decline in sales was attributed to the frozen fish sector which lost 6.1 per cent of its value during 2012. The report suggests that the decline in sales is due to shoppers switching their spend to fresh fish, beef and lamb, which cost more per kg.
In terms of who bought what, the people buying fresh fish were identified as couples/single under 44 without children and couple/singles over 45 also without children. Whereas, families between 34 and 44 with children were listed as the main buyers of frozen fish.
Despite a good growth in sales overall, the report suggests that higher prices are beginning to negatively impact penetration and frequency, calling for a need to ‘Recession-Proof’ fish and make sure higher prices are justified.
The declining value of frozen fish is also an issue and retailers must focus on it to help it return to growth.