Description

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of U.S Fish and Shellfish markets including the behaviors, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Sales of fish and shellfish surged 25% to nearly $20 billion in 2020, but this was a year when restaurant closures brought the category into the home across much of the US. Typically, restaurants account for 70% of seafood consumption and will likely regain much of that share with the lifting of pandemic-era restrictions.

Retail fish and shellfish options are widely consumed, with 84% consumer participation in the category in 2020, buoyed by consumer interest in healthy proteins. Going forward, the category will face not only the competition from dining-out options but challenges related to price and convenience. Consumers are interested in increasing engagement and in more recipes and snacking options that feature fish or shellfish.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the fish and shellfish market.
  • Impact of COVID-19 on segment performance.
  • Purchase drivers for fish and shellfish.
  • Consumer attitudes toward fish and shellfish.

Covered in this report

Fish featured 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.

Brands included: Dongwon Industries, FCF Fishery Co Ltd, Tri-Union Seafoods LLC, Nippon Suisan Kaisha Ltf, Rich Products Corporation, Conagra Brands Inc, United Seafood Enterprises LP, Beaver Street Fisheries Inc, Aqua Star, Southwind Foods and more.

 Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by William Roberts, Jr, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

At-home consumption of fish and shellfish spiked in 2020, as pandemic-era restrictions on dining out pushed much seafood consumption into the home. As restaurants reopen and consumers return to dining out, at-home options will see sales return to their pre-COVID levels. The category’s generally healthy reputation, particularly among fish, should eventually provide a boost, as consumers increase their focus on nutrition in the wake of the pandemic.

William Roberts, Jr
Senior Food & Drink Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
    • COVID-19: market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2015-25
    • Impact of COVID-19 on fish and shellfish
      • Figure 2: Short, medium and long term impact of COVID-19 on fish and shellfish, February 2021
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Online shopping could challenge fresh segments
    • Broaden usage of fish and seafood
      • Figure 3: Fish as a meat/poultry alternative in recipes, any agree, December 2020
    • Communicate with transparency
      • Figure 4: Quality concerns in frozen fish, by parental status, December 2020
    • Leverage healthy promise to negate price concerns
      • Figure 5: Healthy diets and fish, any agree, by age, December 2020
  3. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Lack of restaurant options boosts retail fish/shellfish spend
    • Non-fresh segments eat into fresh’s market share lead
    • Health and sustainability on fish/shellfish choice
    • Putting fish/shellfish top of mind for consumers at home
  4. Market Size and Forecast

    • Fish/shellfish sales to resume prepandemic pace
      • Figure 6: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 7: Total US retail sales and forecast of fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2015-25
    • Impact of COVID-19 on fish and shellfish
      • Figure 8: Short, medium and long term impact of COVID-19 on fish and shellfish, February 2021
    • Lockdown
    • Reemergence
    • Recovery
    • COVID-19: US context
    • Learnings from the last recession
      • Figure 9: Segment sales of fish and seafood, in millions, 2007-11
  5. Segment Performance

    • 2020 pantry stocking cuts into fresh segment share
      • Figure 10: Sales of fish and shellfish, by segment, 2018 and 2020
    • Private label dominance propped up frozen success, innovation
      • Figure 11: US launches of fish and shellfish, by private label, by storage, 2018-20
    • Pandemic spurs grocery retailer market share gains
      • Figure 12: Total US retail sales of fish and shellfish, by channel, at current prices, 2015-20
  6. Market Factors

    • Connect fish with increasing consumer interest in wellbeing
    • Leverage Guideline recommendations and the health benefits of fish
    • Restaurant restrictions boosted sales at retail
    • Younger consumers considering the health of ocean life
    • From plants, et al
  7. Market Opportunities

    • Showcase the versatility, convenience of fish and seafood
      • Figure 13: Fish as a meat/poultry alternative in recipes, any agree, December 2020
    • Break down the price barrier with wellbeing
      • Figure 14: Healthy diets and fish, any agree, by age, December 2020
      • Figure 15: Share of new US fish and shellfish launches, by health claims, 2016-20
    • Transparency starts with packaging
      • Figure 16: Examples of frozen fish/shellfish products with transparent/semi-transparent packaging, 2020
  8. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Private label dominates fish/shellfish market share
    • Sustainably sustainable
  9. Market Share

    • Private label increases sizable market share lead
    • Sales of fish and shellfish, by company
      • Figure 17: Sales of fish and shellfish, by company, 2019 and 2020
  10. Competitive Strategies

    • Eco-friendly benefits extending beyond sustainability
      • Figure 18: Sustainable fish/seafood introductions
      • Figure 19: US fish/shellfish launches, by claim, 2015-19
    • Heat things up
      • Figure 20: Fish/seafood introductions bearing “hot” claim, 2020
    • Brands find the fresh spot between scratch cooking and foodservice
      • Figure 21: Select US introductions of prepared meals/snacks featuring fish/seafood
  11. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Fish and shellfish purchase is widespread
    • Parents opt for variety of fish
    • Taste leads purchase reasons
    • Price guides product choice
    • Broaden environmental claims
    • Consumers need help seeing versatility, new uses
    • Let packaging transparency do the heavy lifting
  12. Purchase of Fish/Shellfish

    • Just one in five abstain from category purchase
      • Figure 22: Purchase of fish/shellfish, December 2020
    • Men more likely to purchase, consume fish and shellfish
      • Figure 23: Purchase of fish/shellfish, by gender, December 2020
    • Parenthood spurs category participation in moms and dads
      • Figure 24: Purchase of fish/shellfish, by parental status, by gender, December 2020
    • Value’s wide appeal
      • Figure 25: Purchase of fish/shellfish, by household income, December 2020
  13. Types of Fish/Shellfish Eaten

    • Salmon, tuna outpace all other species consumption
      • Figure 26: Types of fish eaten, December 2020
    • Biggest fish fans turn to a variety of fish species
      • Figure 27: Types of fish eaten, by repertoire of types of fish eaten, December 2020
    • Parents consume greater variety of fish species
      • Figure 28: Types of fish eaten, by parental status, December 2020
    • Shrimp dominates shellfish consumption
      • Figure 29: Seafood usage at home, December 2020
    • Under 45s nudge beyond just shrimp
      • Figure 30: Seafood usage at home, by age, December 2020
  14. Reasons for Purchase

    • Healthy potential remains for fish/shellfish
      • Figure 31: Reasons for purchase, December 2020
    • Under 45s less likely to appreciate taste, health benefits
      • Figure 32: Reasons for purchase, by age, December 2020
    • Canned options get past the processed stigma
      • Figure 33: Reasons for purchase, by purchase of fish/shellfish, December 2020
  15. Fish/Seafood Purchase Drivers

    • Opportunity in augmenting value among fish/seafood consumers
      • Figure 34: Fish/seafood attributes, December 2020
    • Younger consumers stretching food dollar with family packs
      • Figure 35: Fish/seafood attributes, by age, December 2020
    • Going beyond “wild-caught”
      • Figure 36: Fish/seafood attributes, by types of fish eaten, December 2020
    • A well-balanced portfolio of products or product mix can cast the widest net
      • Figure 37: TURF analysis – Fish and/or seafood purchase factors, December 2020
  16. Attitudes toward Fish/Shellfish

    • Healthy and important to the diet, the category still faces notable challenges
      • Figure 38: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish, December 2020
    • Heed parents’ interest in snacking and additional usage occasions
      • Figure 39: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish preparation, any agree, by parental status, December 2020
    • Inherent health > plant-based
      • Figure 40: Health and fish/shellfish, any agree, by age, December 2020
    • Price and quality weighing on parents
      • Figure 41: Fish/shellfish price and quality, any agree, by parental status, December 2020
  17. Increasing Purchase of Fish/Shellfish

    • Give consumers a look
      • Figure 42: Increasing purchase of fish/shellfish, December 2020
    • Cooking guidance would resonate with younger consumers
      • Figure 43: Increasing purchase of fish/shellfish, by age, December 2020
    • Increase consumption with fish fans through packaging
      • Figure 44: Increasing purchase, by repertoire of types of fish eaten, December 2020
  18. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms
  19. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 45: Total US retail sales and forecast of fish and shellfish, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 46: Total US retail sales and forecast of fish and shellfish, by segment, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 47: Total US retail sales of fish and shellfish, by segment, at current prices, 2018 and 2020
      • Figure 48: Total US retail sales and forecast of fresh fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 49: Total US retail sales and forecast of fresh fish and shellfish, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 50: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 51: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen fish and shellfish, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 52: Total US retail sales and forecast of shelf-stable fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 53: Total US retail sales and forecast of shelf-stable fish and shellfish, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
  20. Appendix – Companies and Brands

      • Figure 54: Multi-outlet sales of fresh fish and shellfish, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
      • Figure 55: Multi-outlet sales of frozen fish and shellfish, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
      • Figure 56: Multi-outlet sales of shelf-stable fish and shellfish, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
  21. Appendix – Retailers

      • Figure 57: Total US retail sales of fish and shellfish, by channel, at current prices, 2018 and 2020
      • Figure 58: US supermarket sales of fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2015-20
      • Figure 59: US sales of fish and shellfish through other retail channels, at current prices, 2015-20
  22. Appendix – TURF Analysis – Methodology

      • Figure 60: TURF analysis – Fish and/or seafood attributes, December 2020
      • Figure 61: Table – TURF analysis – Fish and/or seafood attributes, December 2020

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