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Cod continues to be UK's favorite, haddock sales decline

Cod sales top £360 million in 2015.

Cod sales have followed an upward trend year-on-year, growing 3.6 percent by volume in 2016, keeping the species the favorite whitefish in Britain.

Retailers pulled in £363.6 million (€466.9 million/$514.7 million) from cod sales – 2.4 percent more than the year prior -- with an average price per kilo of $8.10, according to statistics from research analyst Neilsen.

Haddock sales, meanwhile, decreased by 5.3 percent over the same period, accounting for £185.5 million (€238.2 million/$262.6 million), a decline of 3.8 percent. Price per kilo was at $10.22.

In the frozen aisles, retailers sold 30,623 metric tons of cod, up 3.4 percent from the previous years, for a value of £186.7 million (€239.7 million/$264.3 million), also up from the year prior, by 4.9 percent.

Frozen haddock sales reached 7,312 metric tons at £53.7 million (€69 million/$76 million), down 7.1 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively, from the 7,868 metric tons sold the year prior at £56.7 million (€72.8 million/$80.3 million).

Chilled cod volumes also increased, with customers buying 4 percent more than a year earlier – 14,250 metric tons — but expenditures remained almost flat, accounting for £176.8 million (€227 million/$250.3 million) in 2015, down 0.1 percent compared with the year prior.

This was explained by lower prices of chilled cod, which fell 3.9 percent in 2015 to £12.41 (€15.90/$17.60) per kilogram.

Chilled haddock sales, on the other hand, decreased both in volume and value, dropping 4.1 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively, to 10,830 metric tons sold at £131.8 million (€169.2 million/$186.6 million).

Lower demand was related in part to high prices and low availability. In the case of frozen haddock, retailers sold a kilogram at an average of £7.34 (€9.40/$10.40), 1.8 percent higher than the year prior. Frozen haddock, meanwhile, sold for £12.17 (€15.60/$17.20) per kilo, 0.9 percent higher than in 2014.

Tesco had the largest share of sales across the UK for both species, with 17.2 percent of the country’s total sales of haddock and 20.6 percent of cod. While Marks & Spencer holds 6.9 percent of total cod sales – the sixth biggest retailer for this fish – the chain sells 14.6 percent of the total haddock sold in the UK.

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