Soaring prices lead to 20% crash in chilled salmon sales at UK retail

Matthew Wilcox

The average price per unit for salmon at retail has seen a 14.4 percent increase in the past year. 

The UK retail sector has seen a total of 62,989 metric tons of salmon sold to date this year, a ten percent fall in volume on the same period last year.

Preprepared chilled salmon, such as ready meals, has seen a 6.5 percent decrease in the total value of sales, while volumes have fallen 15.4 percent, according to NielsenIQ ScanTrack data for the 52-week period through Aug. 12 provided by UK seafood trade association Seafish.

The total number of salmon packs sold has crashed to 278 million, a drop of 14.4 percent on the same period last year.

Particularly badly affected were chilled salmon packs, which saw a 19.4 percent fall.

Meanwhile, sales of smoked salmon have seen a decline of 16 percent by volume to 12,400 metric tons.

Explaining the collapse is the £4.46 average price per unit cost of salmon products across UK retail, a 14.4 percent increase on prices last year.

“Price has a massive impact on salmon purchases – customers will only pay so much,” a source at a major Grimsby-based processing company told SalmonBusiness.

“People like to think they are getting a deal. The big processors are fighting over the salmon retail contracts. And volume is dropping. Its not a great situation,” said the exec.

Good news may be around the corner, according to the latest data from the analysts Kantar.

Grocery price inflation in the UK has slowed to its lowest level in more than a year as annual supermarket inflation dropped for the sixth month in a row, to 12.2 percent in the four weeks to 3 September.

This ongoing inflation means that the total value of salmon sales across the sector has, however, increased by 2.5 percent to £1.23 billion.


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