Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

US Fish and Shellfish market report

"Driven by the perception of fish and shellfish as healthy alternatives to red meat and poultry, sales of fish and shellfish should grow slowly between 2016-21 to reach $18.3 billion. Millennials, Hispanics, and households with children are most likely to buy, especially fresh. Wild-caught traits appear to be of particular interest, and buoyed by communicating the flavor and nutritional benefits of flash freezing, as well as a typically lower cost, frozen is forecast to grow during the period under review."

- William Roberts, Jr, Senior Food & Drink Analyst

This report will cover the following areas:

  • After strong growth, stagnant growth should begin to rebound
  • Shelf-stable suffers
  • Allergy concern impact, but may be overblown

The following food segments are included in this Report:

  • fresh, uncooked fish and shellfish, such as salmon steaks and live lobster
  • refrigerated or chilled shellfish, such as lobster and crabmeat
  • frozen, uncooked fish and shellfish, such as frozen unprocessed shrimp and cod fillets
  • frozen prepared seafood, such as fish sticks and heat-and-eat fish fillets
  • shelf-stable fish and shellfish, such as tuna, crab, and sardines

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Sales stagnate in 2016, amid years of increases
            • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2012-22
          • Flavor deterring some
            • Figure 2: Reasons for purchase, September 2017
          • The opportunities
            • Suggestions could encourage purchase
              • Figure 3: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish preparation, any agree, by age, September 2017
            • Packaging improvement potential
              • Figure 4: Increasing purchase, September 2017
            • Hispanic Millennials may embrace affordable, sustainable options
              • Figure 5: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish, by Hispanic origin, September 2017
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Sales slow, growth should resume
                • Frozen, shelf-stable face dim sales future, brighter prospects for fresh
                  • Sales of competitive proteins fall
                    • Regulators encourage fish consumption
                    • Market Size and Forecast

                      • Sales stagnate in 2016, amid years of increases
                        • Figure 6: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2012-22
                        • Figure 7: Total US retail sales and forecast of fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2012-22
                    • Market Breakdown

                      • Fresh factoring significantly in fish favorites
                        • Figure 8: Total US retail sales and forecast of fish and shellfish, by segment, at current prices, 2012-22
                    • Market Perspective

                      • Poultry preferences
                        • Figure 9: Consumption frequency, September 2017
                        • Figure 10: Changes in food price indexes, August 2015-16
                      • Lower red meat sales
                        • Figure 11: US city average price per lb of 100% ground beef, Jan 2010-Aug 2016
                      • Fake fish attempts to leverage interest in meat alternatives
                      • Market Factors

                        • Health concerns could lead to fish consumption
                          • FDA, EPA fish consumption advice
                            • Mislabeling reputation could impact entire category
                              • Price-fixing scandal could negatively impact key shelf-stable brands
                              • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                • Fresh flourishes in a largely stagnant category
                                  • Getting fresh
                                    • Shelf-stable struggles
                                      • Free-from claims gain environmental boost in fish/shellfish
                                      • Company and Brand Sales of Fish and Shellfish

                                        • Private label dominates market share, as StarKist merges health, flavor, and convenience
                                          • Sales of fish and shellfish by company
                                            • Figure 12: MULO sales of fish and shellfish, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                        • What’s Working?

                                          • Fresher options fare well
                                            • Figure 13: Notable fresh fish introductions, 2017
                                            • Figure 14: Natural, convenient, environmentally friendly new fish/shellfish products, 2012-17
                                        • What’s Struggling?

                                          • Declines among most shelf-stable brands, save for StarKist
                                            • Figure 15: Total US retail sales and forecast of shelf-stable fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2012-22
                                            • Figure 16: StarKist Kid's Creations Bacon Ranch Flavored Lightly Marinated Premium Chunk Light Tuna
                                        • What’s Next?

                                          • Free-from claims merging with environmental awareness
                                            • Figure 17: Better-for-you, environmental claims on fish/shellfish introductions, 2016-17
                                            • Figure 18: Fish/shellfish launches with free-from and environmental claims, 2017
                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                          • Taste draws most consumers
                                            • Taste turns some away
                                              • Vast majority buy fish at supermarkets
                                                • Avoiding hormones, antibiotics in fish/shellfish
                                                  • Nutritional, developmental boost draws parental interest
                                                    • Lures for fish/shellfish
                                                    • Purchase

                                                      • Fresh or frozen, fish remains most popular
                                                        • Figure 19: Purchase of fish/shellfish, September 2017
                                                      • Mass merchandisers, natural supermarkets, online resonating strongly with younger consumers
                                                        • Figure 20: Purchase location, by age, September 2017
                                                        • Figure 21: Purchase location – Online, by age, September 2017
                                                      • Youngest consumers largely avoid category in grocery
                                                        • Figure 22: Purchase of fish/shellfish, by age, September 2017
                                                      • Hispanic Millennials more likely to opt for fresh fish and shellfish
                                                        • Figure 23: Purchase of fish/shellfish, by Hispanic origin, September 2017
                                                    • Purchase Reasons

                                                      • Taste leads purchase factors, health attributes factor strongly
                                                        • Figure 24: Reasons for purchase, September 2017
                                                      • Taste resonating with older consumers in particular
                                                        • Figure 25: Reasons for purchase, by age, September 2017
                                                      • Health, ease of cooking factor differently by race
                                                        • Figure 26: Reasons for purchase, by race, September 2017
                                                      • Hispanic non-Millennials regard category as healthier than other proteins
                                                        • Figure 27: Reasons for purchase, by Hispanic origin, September 2017
                                                      • Taste resonates most strongly across all segments
                                                        • Figure 28: Purchase of fish/shellfish, by reasons for purchase, August 2017
                                                    • Reasons for Avoidance

                                                      • Taste, aroma, price top reasons for avoiding fish/shellfish
                                                        • Figure 29: Reasons for avoidance, September 2017
                                                      • Taste, aroma deterring younger consumers; older consumers more likely to eat in restaurants
                                                        • Figure 30: Reasons for avoidance, by age, September 2017
                                                    • Purchase Location

                                                      • Supermarkets remain the biggest fish/shellfish resource
                                                        • Figure 31: Purchase location, September 2017
                                                      • Parents more likely to buy fish at mass merchandisers, club stores
                                                        • Figure 32: Purchase location, by number of children under 18 in household, September 2017
                                                    • Important Attributes

                                                      • Quality factors most strongly in both frozen and fresh choices
                                                        • Figure 33: Important attributes of frozen options, September 2017
                                                        • Figure 34: Important attributes of fresh options, September 2017
                                                      • Attribute importance varies across age ranges
                                                        • Figure 35: Important attributes of any fish/shellfish, by age, September 2017
                                                      • Consumers seek to avoid hormones, antibiotics in fish/shellfish
                                                        • Figure 36: Important free-from attributes of fish/shellfish, September 2017
                                                      • Nutritional aspects resonating with Hispanic Millennials
                                                        • Figure 37: Important attributes of any fish/shellfish, by Hispanic origin, September 2017
                                                    • Improvement Opportunities

                                                      • Packaging improvements could boost category
                                                        • Figure 38: Improvement opportunities, September 2017
                                                      • Flavor, health improvements could draw parents
                                                        • Figure 39: Improvement opportunities, by number of children under 18 in household, September 2017
                                                      • Packaging innovation potential in all segments
                                                        • Figure 40: Purchase of fish/shellfish, by improvement opportunities, August 2017
                                                      • Packaging improvements would resonate
                                                        • Figure 41: TURF analysis – Improvement opportunities among all consumers, September 2017
                                                        • Figure 42: TURF analysis – Improvement opportunities among fish/shellfish consumers, September 2017
                                                    • Attitudes toward Preparation

                                                      • Consumers confident in fish/shellfish preparation
                                                        • Figure 43: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish preparation, September 2017
                                                      • Suggestions could influence purchase
                                                        • Figure 44: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish preparation, any agree, by age, September 2017
                                                      • Hispanic Millennials express confidence in fish preparation
                                                        • Figure 45: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish preparation, any agree, by Hispanic origin, September 2017
                                                    • Attitudes toward Fish/Shellfish and Health

                                                      • Consumers largely perceive fish as better-for-you
                                                        • Figure 46: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish and health, September 2017
                                                      • Fish’s healthy attributes lost on younger consumers
                                                        • Figure 47: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish and health, by age, September 2017
                                                      • Parents’ positive health regard for fish
                                                        • Figure 48: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish and health, by number of children under 18 in household, September 2017
                                                      • Hispanics and the health of fish/shellfish
                                                        • Figure 49: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish and health, by Hispanic origin, September 2017
                                                    • Increasing Usage of Fish/Shellfish

                                                      • Lower price, sustainability could lure consumers to fish
                                                        • Figure 50: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish, September 2017
                                                      • Younger consumers seeking affordability, sustainability
                                                        • Figure 51: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish, by age, September 2017
                                                      • Price, sustainability would resonate with Hispanic Millennials
                                                        • Figure 52: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish, by Hispanic origin, September 2017
                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                      • Data sources
                                                        • Sales data
                                                          • Fan chart forecast
                                                            • Consumer survey data
                                                              • Direct marketing creative
                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                  • Appendix – The Market

                                                                      • Figure 53: Total US retail sales and forecast of fish and shellfish, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                      • Figure 54: Total US retail sales of fish and shellfish, by segment, at current prices, 2015 and 2017
                                                                      • Figure 55: Total US retail sales and forecast of fish and shellfish, by segment, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                      • Figure 56: Total US retail sales and forecast of fresh fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                      • Figure 57: Total US retail sales and forecast of fresh fish and shellfish, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                      • Figure 58: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                      • Figure 59: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen fish and shellfish, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                      • Figure 60: Total US retail sales and forecast of shelf-stable fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                      • Figure 61: Total US retail sales and forecast of shelf-stable fish and shellfish, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                      • Figure 62: Total US retail sales of fish and shellfish, by channel, at current prices, 2015 and 2017
                                                                      • Figure 63: US supermarket sales of fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2012-17
                                                                      • Figure 64: US sales of fish and shellfish through other retail channels, at current prices, 2012-17
                                                                  • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                      • Figure 65: MULO sales of fish and shellfish, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                                                      • Figure 66: MULO sales of fresh fish and shellfish, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                                                      • Figure 67: MULO sales of frozen fish and shellfish, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                                                      • Figure 68: MULO sales of shelf-stable fish and shellfish, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                                                  • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                      • Figure 69: Fresh/frozen fish/seafood usage, by gender, fall 2016
                                                                      • Figure 70: Fresh/frozen fish/seafood usage, by age, fall 2016
                                                                      • Figure 71: Fresh/frozen fish/seafood usage, by race, fall 2016
                                                                      • Figure 72: Fresh/frozen fish/seafood usage, by Hispanic origin, fall 2016
                                                                      • Figure 73: Fresh/frozen fish/seafood usage, by household income, fall 2016
                                                                      • Figure 74: Fresh/frozen fish/seafood usage, by education, fall 2016
                                                                      • Figure 75: Fresh/frozen fish/seafood usage, by size of household, fall 2016
                                                                      • Figure 76: Fresh/frozen fish/seafood usage, by parental status and number of children in household, fall 2016
                                                                      • Figure 77: Fresh/frozen fish/seafood usage, by region, fall 2016
                                                                      • Figure 78: Fresh/frozen fish/seafood usage, by gender and age, fall 2016