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UK consumers steer clear of canned tuna, salmon

Retailers struggle to increase sales of ambient fish.

Volumes of shelf-stable tuna and salmon sold at UK retail continued to flounder in the year ending Feb. 23, according to figures from market research company Nielsen.

Even though the sales value of shelf-stable fish was up 2.2 percent to £440 million (€515 million/$578 million), volumes sold fell 2.4 percent to 60,451 metric tons, with average price per kilo rising 4.7 percent to £7.29 (€8.54/$9.58).

Most of the ambient category is made up of tuna, which saw a 3.3 percent drop in volumes sold to 41,458 metric tons, with the average price per kilo rocketing 7.4 percent.

Both sales value and volumes of ambient salmon dipped by 3.8 and 7.1 percent, respectively. The price of an average kilogram of canned salmon during the period was about double that of tuna at £13.40 (€15.69/$ 17.61) per kilogram.

Shelf-stable sardines were the only product in the ambient category to see a volume increase in the 52-week period, with total sales rising 4.4 percent to £28.5 million (€33.4 million/$ 37.4 million) and volumes increasing by 6.2 percent to 5,277 metric tons.

The price of an average kilo of ambient sardines dipped slightly, by 1.7 percent to £5.40 (€6.32/$ 7.10) per kilo.

During the past two years, low cost retailer Aldi’s share of ambient salmon trade increased 7.7 percent and it now holds 15.5 percent of total retailer share.

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