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Nielsen: Sardine canners must lift consumption to grow in Brazil

Need to attract more affluent consumers highlighted as key to growth

The need to increase consumption is the main challenge facing canned sardine producers in Brazil market research company Nielsen Brasil found.

Sales from canned sardines are worth around BRL 1.2 billion ($288 million/€248 million) a year sales in Brazil. Sardines account for 65 percent of annual canned fish sales.

Volume sales for canned tuna run to 52,000 metric tons a year.

Sardine producers would benefit significantly by raising their products to match the purchase frequency of canned vegetables, Carolina Araújo, senior marketing, innovation and new business executive at Nielsen Brasil said at the recent Seafood Summit in Brasilia, organized by seafood processors association ABIPESCA.

On average, Brazilian households consume 977 grams of canned sardines annually, dropping 260 grams of products into their shopping baskets on the 3.7 times a year that they buy products.

This compares with an annual consumption average of 2.2 kilograms per household for canned vegetables, the 400grams bought at the time of each of the 6.2 yearly purchases.

Canned sardine products are sold in 85 percent of Brazilian stores (around 415,000 outlets), while it is present in 78 percent of all Brazilian households (34 million households).

Canned sardines are favored by households with five or more people in socio-economic groups D/E.

Consumers tend to fall into the 26-30 age group. Their purchasing habits are driven by price and promotions.

In the wider picture, 74 percent of Brazilian households buy canned fish at least once a year but only 18 percent of households consume both tuna and sardines.

Annual average household spending on canned fish comes in at R26.22 ($6.28/€5.40). Canned fish is bought 4.2 times a year. Average purchases weigh in at 275 grams.

Overall the Brazilian canned fish market is worth BRL 1.8 billion ($431 million/€371 million).

The sector moved 72,000 metric tons of products in 2017, down 2.6 percent on the previous 12 months. It is sold in some 416,000 stores.

In this predominantly Roman Catholic country the lent period concentrates 37 percent of canned seafood sales.

Canned seafood has the tenth highest presence among food industry products in Brazilian households, according to Nielsen Brasil numbers.

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