Make way for supermarket chain campaigns: “Sales going through the roof”

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This summer’s price plunge has cleared the way for supermarkets to run campaigns and discounts when selling salmon.

At Pingo Doce in Cascais, a half-hour drive from Lisbon, Norwegian-produced farmed salmon are among the cheapest priced products displayed on the seafood counter. In this instance the salmon are competing with red snapper, hake, sea bass, sea bream and mussels.

Salmon cutlets are being offered at 9.99 euros per kilo, while whole fish are retailing at 6.49 euro, after having been reduced from 8.99 euro.

Pingo Doce features among Portugal’s largest supermarket chains, with a total of 440 stores.

Through the roof
At the fresh goods counter in Cascais, there are two cheerful, young ladies Diana Rodrigues and Joana Correia that are in charge of meat and seafood sales. They have cleared plenty of space and filled up with farmed salmon.

“It’s Norwegian,” Rodrigues tells SalmonBusiness. “Previously we have sold around 60 kilos per week – 20 kilos whole fish, the rest in cutlets,” she added.

– How have sales been after you lowered prices?

“Ah … they have shot through the roof! The two say in unison, and point enthusiastically upwards. “They’ve had ‘lift-off’.”

Campaign
As at Week 29, Portuguese seafood importers had purchased 6,418 tonnes of fresh, Norwegian salmon, according to export statistics from the Norwegian Seafood Council. That’s a fairly marginal upturn from the same period in 2017.

Salmon prices haven’t exactly been low in the first half of 2018 though, and consequently campaign sales and promotions have been few and far between in the grocery stores.

That’s all changed now.

Grocery customers are price-conscious. Reduced purchasing prices are enticing the supermarket chains to tighten their own profit margins in a bid to achieve higher sales volumes. Thus, a much in demand and normally highly priced fish species has suddenly become one of the cheapest on the fresh goods counter. Much to the delight of end customers.

Bacalhau
Another, and even more expensive product than the salmon is however not on offer at a reduced price. Clipfish, bacalhau, is the country’s national dish, and what the majority of Portuguese associate with Norway. The country can boast no less than 1,001 bacalhau recipes.

Piled high beside the fresh goods counter is a stack of bacalhau (cod) from Jangaard Export in Ålesund (Western Norway). This fish is retailed at 10.99 euros per kilo. You can forget about a discount for this one.