Americans ate less seafood in 2020, but data do not fully reflect pandemic shifts

A Washington, DC-based non-profit on Monday (May 16) released the list of the Top 10 seafood that Americans consumed in 2020, but the numbers do not quite reflect the pandemic-related market forces that affected seafood consumption.

The National Fisheries Institute report shows that salmon consumption among Americans declined by 8.7 percent from 3.1 lbs per capita in 2019 to 2.83 lbs in 2020.

The NFI acknowledged that the numbers do not reflect the pandemic-related market forces that affected seafood consumption because it is a retrospective view. It said it will be the next Top 10 List (for 2021), coming out next year, that will reflect better the seafood market shifts.

Indeed, 2021 figures from salmon producers showed robust retail demand for their products. Among them, Mowi, saw its highest revenue ever, thanks to very strong retail demand. It said sales of value-added salmon products more than made up for the decline in demand from the foodservice segment.

The 2020 Top 10 list also showed that Americans consumed 19 lbs of seafood per capita in 2020, down from 19.2 lbs in 2019. Salmon is the second most popular seafood in the United States, next only to the perennial favourite: shrimp.

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